Christopher Nolan’s First Film Did Not “Follow” Standard Formulas
by Nicholas Robinson
The protagonist of Following is Bill (Jeremy Theobald). Bill is an unemployed aspiring writer who lives a solitary and boring life in London, England. Bill has a fascination with people, and with hopes of finding material to write about, begins to pick individuals out of a crowd, and to follow them. Bill establishes rules to keep him out of trouble and to keep his ‘following’ random, but soon enough he breaks one of his rules by following someone more than once. The character he follows on numerous occasions first is Cobb (Alex Haw). Cobb a confident and intelligent burglar catches Bill spying on him and soon involves Bill in his peculiar burglaries. Similar to Bill’s interest in following, Cobb has a great interest in the individuals he is stealing from. During the robbery of a residence Bill becomes interested in the woman who owns the flat (Lucy Russell), so he begins to follow her. Eventually he decides to meet her and they begin seeing each other. This upsets Cobb as he also learns the woman has asked Bill to do a job for her. But things are not as they seem, and soon Bill will find out why – IMDB.com
Christopher Nolan has wowed me for the past 6 years with his movies. Ever since I saw Batman Begins and The Prestige, I have made it my plan to watch all of his movies. Now I think I have almost accomplished this task (with one left) by watching his first feature film, Following. The story was really good, the acting was OK and the cinematography was well done.
Christopher Nolan does what he does best with this story. He creates a web of lies, stealing and twists that keeps you interested for all 70 of the minutes of the movie. What I noticed when I watched this movie is that it seemed like a practice run for Memento (his second film) in the sense that it seemed like he was trying the telling of one story by telling two parts of it at the same time switching from one to the other effortlessly and keeping you guessing until the big reveal at the very end.
The acting in this movie was OK. I have absolutely NO idea who any of the actors are but they did the job they needed to do in order to get the story of the movie going. However, Alex Haw was very good as Cobb (a name that Nolan reused for his latest film, Inception), the burglar who is more than he seems. What I think his actual role was, was a con man who is on the grift from the very beginning of the story and he plays it so well that you never see the end coming even with a second reveal shortly after the first one.
As this is his first feature film, apart from the acting and all the jobs required for a full production, Nolan did basically everything. He wrote the screenplay, he directed it, produced it and shot it himself. The cinematography in this movie was really good. I loved how it was in black and white for the entrie movie giving a sense of simplicity while wowing the viewer with the complex storyline. Basically, it was really good.
Overall, this is a good movie that all Christopher Nolan fans MUST see.
IMDB says 7.7/10
RT says 76%
I say 8.5/10