Lou Bloom, played excellently by a physically unrecognizable Jake Gyllenhaal in what could be one of his career defining performances, is a creepy, hollow-faced personification of the cut-throat corporate environment that exists all around us today.
Lou is a self-groomed crime newsfeed recorder who will do anything for his ambition of seeing his organization climb up the success ladder even if it means doing something illegal or immoral like dragging the body of a car crash victim ten feet to the right where the lighting is sufficient to get that perfect shot of a road mishap before the police arrive on scene.
I thought the dialogues between Lou and his ‘intern’ came eerily close to what an average employee might get to hear during routine HR and Business meetings at the office, so much so that I couldn’t stop smiling like an idiot while watching. I tell you, how easy it is to manipulate people into doing things they aren't even going to get paid for just by throwing words at their faces.
Apart from that, the direction is first grade and the camera work reveals a bleaker and a visibly more dangerous side of night-life in the city, including old-school chase sequences that are executed well enough to feel real and pressing.
With Keaton’s performance in Birdman being nominated for the Oscar, I doubt whether Gyllenhaal would have bagged the award for best actor had he not been snubbed (so unjustifiably). But had he gotten it, I wouldn't have minded the upset at Keaton losing.
The new benchmark for ‘creepy’ has now been established.