FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. – Louis Bloom
Genre: Thriller Film
Release Date: 2014
Budget: $8.5 Million
Box office: $50.3 Million
Main Characters: Jake Gyllenhaal: Louis “Lou” Bloom × Rene Russo: Nina Romina × Riz Ahmed: Rick × Bill Paxton: Joe Loder
Director: Dan Gilroy
Petty thief Louis “Lou” Bloom is caught stealing from a Los Angeles construction site by a security guard. He attacks the guard, steals his watch and leaves with the stolen material. After selling the material at a scrap yard, Lou asks for a job, but the foreman says he does not hire thieves. While driving home, Lou sees a car crash and pulls over. Stringers—freelance photojournalists—arrive and record two police officers pulling a woman from the wreck. One of the stringers, Joe Loder, tells Lou that they sell their footage to local news stations. Inspired, Lou steals a bicycle and trades it for a camcorder and a police radio scanner. After two unsuccessful attempts at recording incidents, Lou records the aftermath of a fatal carjacking and sells the footage to KWLA 6. The morning news director Nina Romina tells him the station is especially interested in footage of violent incidents in affluent areas. Lou hires an assistant, Rick, a young man desperate for money. To give his footage more impact, Lou begins tampering with crime scenes and in one case moves a body. As Lou’s work gains traction, he buys better equipment and a faster car.
Lou coerces Nina into a date and threatens to end his business with her unless she has sex with him, knowing her job depends on his footage; she reluctantly agrees. The next day he turns down a business offer from Loder, who beats him to an important plane crash story later that night. Nina berates Lou to get better footage and keep his end of their bargain. Lou sabotages Joe’s van; when it crashes, Joe is severely injured and Lou records the aftermath. Lou and Rick arrive before the police at the site of a home invasion in an affluent neighborhood. Lou records footage of the gunmen leaving in their SUV and of the murder victims in the house. The news staff fret over the ethics of the footage but Nina is eager to break the story. In exchange, Lou demands public credit and more money. Police detective Frontieri questions Lou about his connection to the home invasion. He gives her edited footage of the home invasion, cutting out the parts with the gunmen. That night, he and Rick track down the gunmen; Lou plans to follow them to a more crowded public area, then call the police and record the ensuing confrontation. Scared, Rick demands half the money Lou stands to make, threatening to tell the police about Lou’s crimes. Lou agrees.
When the gunmen stop at a restaurant, Lou phones the police. They arrive and exchange gunfire. One suspect is killed while the other manages to escape in his SUV. The police give chase with Lou and Rick tailing and recording. After the gunman’s SUV crashes, Lou urges Rick to film the gunman, claiming he is dead. The wounded gunman shoots Rick through the glass and tries to escape but is shot by police. As Rick lies dying, Lou films him and tells him that he cannot work with someone he does not trust. Nina is awed by the footage and expresses her devotion to Lou. The news team discovers that the “home invasion” was actually a drug deal gone wrong; Nina omits this information to maximize the story’s impact. Police try to confiscate the footage for evidence but Nina defends her right to withhold it. Interrogated by police detective Frontieri, Lou fabricates a story about the men in the SUV following him; Frontieri suspects he is lying, but cannot prove it. Lou hires a team of interns and buys new vans to expand his business.
At first I thought it was an X-Men Franchise but it was not. It shows that people can do whatever to ensure that they get what they want. A common theme in the film is the symbiotic relationship between unethical journalism and consumer demand. I find Jake Gyllenhall very fascinating in this film. He was able to portray his role effectively. It felt like he wasn’t acting at all. The eyes, the expression, the delivery of the lines – everything was spot-on. Sometimes, I felt like I know the character too well that I anticipate the next step but they prove me wrong. Nothing can be anticipated in this film. The choices of the actors and actresses are well made. They fit into the roles perfectly. The movie also received various accolades, including a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the 87th Academy Awards. JG was also one of the producers of this film. I have also learned that he intentionally lose over 20 pounds for this film and even punched a mirror so hard he required stitches.
See you on my next review! ❤