By: Dan Tomasik
Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is many things. Committed, determined, energetic, professional, persistent, ambitious, tenacious, and unafraid to bend or break rules to get what he needs/wants. Guys like him go through their lives jumping from job to job, bring their 110% commitment until they’ve either exhausted everything they could possibly get from a line of work or find something better. These kinds of people go far because they are willing to do the things other people won’t, without hesitation. If jumping on something first means briefly abandoning morality, they will.
Lou could be considered a psychopath. He could also be considered a creep, a pervert, or a freak. It’s a testament to Jake Gyllenhaal that he never comes across as any of those things, no matter what he says or does. Playing characters like these often traps actors in the realm of only creepiness, as opposed to genuine scariness. They usually make you squirm instead of cowering. Props to Gyllenhaal for breaking free of that trap. What’s clear with Lou is that everything he does is not to satisfy some sick fantasy or delusion in his head, but to achieve his occupational goals. Everything serves a constructive purpose in one way or another. Nothing Lou does is impulsive, everything has been measured and calculated and planned out for maximum results. Sickos don’t think long-term when they do the things they do.
People like Lou can exist. Your best bet is to steer far clear of them. They are the worst kind of scary, the smart kind. Lou may never directly push someone in front of a bus, slit a throat, or poison a wineglass, but he has no qualms removing obstacles from his path by any means necessary. Furthermore, every time he does, he finds a way to benefit from it. It’s never enough just to prevent an obstacle from reappearing, everything Lou does must contribute to accomplishing one of his career goals. He’s one of the sanest crazy people you’ll ever meet. And he’ll never get caught.
He also has a really nice car.