Not only is the acting, music and cinematography top notch but it gives an extraordinarly intimate view local news media. Which in my opinion is a very fascinating subject given thats almost everyone consumes. If you are familiar with the television show The Wire , each season examines a different part of the city of Baltimore. My favorite, season 5 which focus’s on the local newspaper, in particular, which articles made it to print.
This film follows that season’s same type of news transparency but instead, on the ground floor of a Los Angeles tv newsroom. As Wire fans might have guessed, it is all about ratings, bottom line. Morals and integrity gets thrown out the window when it all boils down to numbers.
This is where the main character Louis (Gyllenhaal) comes in. Right off the bat, the director shows you what Louis is capable of…Anything. The first scene, very effectively, showcases his sociopathic behavior and sets up an infinite amount of suspense for the remainder of the movie.
Louis gives an amazing sense of robotic intellect. Not only is he highly educated, but he knows it. The only problem is he seems to be lacking a sort of organic human interaction/empathy.
He sees the system for what it is, to him its all numbers. He is capable and willing of anything as long as he is ahead in the system.
After capturing some very amateur video, Louis stumbles into the editing room of executive producer Nina Romina’s (Rene Russo) news station, attempting to sell his footage. Let’s just say he THRIVES in the environment.
He quickly evolves from an amateur to a professional free-lance video journalist in no time at all. Learning all the tricks of the trade, and understanding what sells, he begins to manipulate. Not only the people around him,(Nina as well as Louis’s new intern Rick) but the actual crime scenes he is filming.
By the time this manipulated footage makes it to air, Nina has added her own spin to give the local audience exactly what they want. The content being broadcasted is a mix between reality and a production. The lines are so far blurred, that it doesn’t even matter what is real or not, the only thing that matters is the ratings.
There is so much going on in this movie, I could write pages and pages. And in fact, my earlier drafts touched on many, many more elements. But I realized I wanted to do a movie review rather than an analyzation.
That is what is so awesome about this movie. It throws so much at you. There is so many artistically crafted scenes as well as ideas in this movie, I’m amazed the creator Dan Gilroy was able to fit in all in a cohesive and non-stop 117 minute ride.
The performances from the cast, especially Gyllenhaal and Russo, are fantastic. The music score compliments each scene perfectly. And the cinematography is so well choreographed, you feel as if you are right by Gyllenhaal’s side, capturing video with him.
If you haven’t yet, GO WATCH THIS FILM!!