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11 June 2011

Following (1998) Review

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay by: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime
Runtime: 69 Minutes

Hot-shot Hollywood Director Christopher Nolan made his directorial debut in 1998 when he made this $6, 000 budgeted black & white film which is impressive for what it is. Following tells a non-linear story of two men who are burglars, and is full of double crossing. The film doesn’t have all that Hollywood action or even a star, so that’s what makes this film even more impressive. It stands alone with it’s difference in style and inventive plot. I’m not a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s work, but I’m becoming very interested. With his great films such as The Dark Knight and my yet to view Inception, Nolan is one of the current best Directors in the profession. The film made it’s debut through film festival and went round to grossing $48, 000. Following may be lacking in gripping characters and interesting visuals, but inventive story prevails in this low, almost no-budget film. With surprising performances from new time actors Alex Haw and Jeremy Theobald Following is a very interesting film.

A struggling unemployed writer, whose name isn’t mentioned, takes to following strangers saying “You look at a crowd and you focus on one person and all of a sudden, that person isn’t part of the crowd anymore”. So one day he follows a man who soon confronts him thinking he was from the police, as this man is a burglar, but a very different one. He soon introduces himself as ‘Cobb’ and soon tells him about what it is he does. Cobb is the smart-minded psychological nutcase who breaks into people’s homes and doesn’t steal everything in sight, but browses the belongings of the house/apartment owner as we see him guessing who lives and what they do. Cobb asks the man to accompany him on his burglaries The material gains from these crimes seem to be of secondary importance to Cobb, who takes pleasure in rifling through the personal items in his targets' flats, and doing things such as drinking their wine. With a runtime of 69 minutes a lot happens and it is fiendishly clever.
Cobb on the left.
When I was half way through the film, I realised that the whole flash back structure swapped back and forth immensely. The film is basically our character talking to a police officer trying to explain his story, so he doesn’t get charged for a murder that Cobb smartly set him up. The film has non-linear flashbacks, but from the dialogue you will be able to figure out when the flashback is taking place. Thanks to Nolan’s wonderful direction, the film is convolute, sophisticated, yet irresistibly entertaining. Once you get to the end of the film you realise how smart the screenplay is. Cobb in the end is pretty much the mastermind a his plan was to frame the young man all along. There isn’t much character depth or several characters at all, so it gives this different kind of atmosphere to the film. Another thing is it was shot black & white. It’s 1998 and Nolan still pressed through and made a black & white film which sort of gives the film it’s tone. So overall Following is a film worth checking out. It is a thrilling rush of a sophisticated plot and fiendish characters.

My Rating: 7.5/10

1 comment:

  1. Not really into Nolan either but you make this film sound very interesting.

    ReplyDelete

 

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