This for me is film of the year so far (2014 that is). I knew little or nothing about it beforehand and I believe this helped it deliver the shock-value crucial to its enjoyment.
Gyllenhall stars as possibly cinema’s finest psychopath. It’s never overplayed, but clearly Lou Bloom is the personification of a US Corporation. His impersonal, upfront, cards-on-the-table, not-unlikeable, goal-driven, amoral behaviour is as alien as it is endemic in human nature. He is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful in whatever field he finds for himself -the choice of field is almost irrelevant, but having chosen, each of its rules and applicable laws are merely obstacles to be overcome in his rise to the top.
He isn’t a horrible person, which makes the film more perverse. His actions are at all times merely the logical extension of his stated, natural, praise-worthy goals. There’s no arguing with his logic, which has him facing in one direction only at all times. If you’re able to ride this upward wave you’re more than welcome to your share of the success, but woe-betide the person who’s human frailties can’t keep pace with the stated aims. If Corporate America was a person it would be Lou Bloom -or your money back.
(All claims for financial remuneration resulting in the real or perceived interpretation of this review shall be scoffed-at with vigour.)