By Andrew Harwood

“Crime drama” can be defined as a film the incorporates themes and aspects of drama and crime. Despite the simple definition, “crime drama” is far from just a drama film revolving around criminal activities.

Specifically, crime dramas include thrills, suspense and sometimes some dark comedy. In the more modern era, crime dramas have been associated with the “neo-noir” genre of film that is the revival of the film-noir genre popular in the 1940s through the 1960s. With strong pull from classic films, crime dramas encapsulate audiences worldwide with gripping action.

Some examples are films like “The Departed,” “Pulp Fiction,” “L.A. Confidential,” “City of God,” “Chinatown” and our film for the week, “Nightcrawler.”

Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler” follows con-man Louis Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who becomes a freelance crime journalist after recording and reporting on late-night violence in the streets of Los Angeles. 

After turning profits by selling footage and stories to news channels across Southern California, Louis soon becomes much more than an observer of criminal brutality, finding himself on the opposite side of the camera and pad. 

Exploring the theme of the reciprocal relationship between unethical journalism and consumerism, “Nightcrawler” is a dark and intriguing depiction of greed, ultraviolence and the inner-workings of the human mind.

Relying heavily on dark light, a small cast, an action-based script and extensive build-up, “Nightcrawler” is no ordinary “crime drama,” as it seeps over into the “neo-noir” subgenre. Given this, the film is popularly debated in regards to its genre, but nevertheless, “Nightcrawler” remains a triumph of criminal expose.

Supported by immense performances from Riz Ahmed, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton, along with an incredibly original script, hauntingly beautiful imagery and wicked suspense, “Nightcrawler” is a must-see.

 

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