Jake Gyllenhal is a good looking dude right? I could be wrong – my girlfriend certain’t doesn’t think he is – but he’s not unattractive, perhaps that’s a better way of putting it. In this film however he looks properly creepy. He looks a little bit like a crack addict doing an impression of Jack Nicholson from The Shining.
It’s for this reason alone that you should see the film. Jake Gyllenhal’s portrayal of Louis Bloom is surely Oscar fodder and the script and production are not far off either.
Louis has this quite unassuming rage that makes him instantly unnerving to watch. Right from the beginning he is identifiable as an out and out sociopath committing minor crimes in order to make a quick buck. If you want to play the lottery you have to make the money to buy a ticket he quickly reminds us.
The most scary part of his character, apart from the way he looks and a tendancy for violence and traits of a kleptomaniac, you know apart from that, is that he is smart. Not only is he smart but he likes learning, which makes him especially dangerous.
It’s early on into the film that he witnesses a car crash where someone from the news is filming the police rescue effort. After learning that he can earn money from filming fatalities he setc about learning good cinematography practices and employing them to his job.
In one such scene we see him moving the victim of a car crash just to get a better shot and in another he is moving pictures on a fridge to juxtapose better next to bullet holes.
Whilst this behaviour is mildly freaky at best it’s when he applies his knowledge to manipulate and control people that the film makes you feel awkward to be watching it. This is all enabled through some fantastic writing which allows Jake to ellocute some great monologues.
This film, as a piece of art, is a must see for anyone interested in the constrcuts of a film but as a piece of entertainment it is going to be hit and miss.
There is a slow pacing to the film which some will find a turn off and there is not really any perceived threat to the main characters so it misses some of the beats that makes other thrillers truly great.
If you like being made to feel awkward when watching a film, or you are into indie/art-house films then I highly recommend this but if you are looking for a palatable slice of movie going then the turtles might still be showing?
- Jake’s performance
- Well written
- Well produced
- A little slow
- Not as tense as some thrillers
- If you don’t like awkward films