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Discussion Film / Nightcrawler

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Apr 14th 2015 at 4:58:05 PM •••


  • You Are What You Hate: Before Lou reveals his true colors, he absolutely despises his competitor, a sleazebag who's insulted him before and works with vans stuffed with equipment, compared to just Lou, his faithful assistant, and a fast car. In the end, Lou does exactly what his competitor did, right down to the two-van fleet.

This trope is about a hypocritical hatred or unconscious self-loathing. "This is the implication that a character who dislikes a particular thing is secretly a practitioner of that thing." Louis never criticizes Joe for using cut-throat tactics. He never pretends that he's above it all. He simply hates that Joe is more successful at it than him. It's a standard professional rivalry. When Louis gets his multiple vans, it means that Louis has achieved his objective, not a revelation that he's become what he claimed to hate. He's become what he always wanted to be: successful by any means necessary.

Edited by CaptainCrawdad Hide/Show Replies
Apr 15th 2015 at 6:18:29 PM •••

When Loder attempts to get Louis to join his team, the way Louis responds makes it seem like it's because Loder's a sleazebag trying to snuff out competition. The film's still in 'Louis is possibly/maybe sympathetic' mode and implies he rejects Loder out of moral values.

Maybe it could go under subversion.

Apr 16th 2015 at 12:44:34 AM •••

At the point that Joe offers him a job, Louis has already attacked someone, mugged him, stolen a bicycle and pawned it as his own, and started manipulating crime scenes to sell better. Clearly Louis is not objecting to Joe out of morality, as he's already demonstrated repeatedly that he has no morality. It's clear that Louis rejects Joe because his ambitions are higher than being Joe's lackey.

Apr 16th 2015 at 3:30:17 AM •••

Yes, there were warning signs, and you picked up on it earlier than everyone else, but the intent was to keep the audience wondering if Louis was just a millennial forced into extremes by a bad economy. It isn't explicitly spelled out until the dinner scene with Nina.

Apr 16th 2015 at 3:54:15 PM •••

Regardless of whether the audience is holding onto the belief that Louis is a moral person at heart, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, Louis never even pretends to be better than Joe. He never criticizes Joe's tactics or claim to be above them. It's never brought up. Further, there's not the slightest implication that Louis objects to Joe's ruthlessness. The first thing Louis does when he sees Joe at work is to enthusiastically apply for a job. When Louis comes to hate Joe, it's because Joe is now standing in Louis's way. Morality has nothing to do with it.

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