I have now seen all of Christopher Nolan’s feature films. I’d never heard of Following until I started looking at his filmography. I was surprised to see it was on Netflix and part of the Criterion Collection. Fortunately, I went in hopeful and, luckily, I was not disappointed. I give Following the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
A young writer has taken up the hobby of following strangers to observe their life. He ends up following another person who follows people so that he can rob them. The thief offers to take the writer under his wing and teach him his craft.
The film was definitely a great entry into the types of films Nolan will make. It uses non-linear storytelling and there is a twist or two. Ultimately, I really enjoyed the movie quite a bit. When it began I was really confused, but I realized it was going to bounce around in time. Once I pieced together the indicators of the character at the different time sections it was easy to follow. I also love that Nolan had his lead character have a Batman logo on his door. It’s like he knew he would direct the Batman trilogy later in his career.
The casts is primarily unknown with the young man being played by Jeremy Theobald and Cobb, the thief, played by Alex Haw. Lucy Russell plays the female lead, named “the Blonde” and most of the other characters are just extras. While the delivery of some of the dialogue is weak, especially by Theobald, the story works really well in spite of that. I was pleasantly surprised when the twist occurred and it only made the story more clear. You can definitely see shades of Memento in this film’s structure.
If you’re a fan of Christopher Nolan then you should definitely watch this film. To me, it shows that he knew what kind of filmmaker he was even from the beginning. It’s definitely got an indie vibe and that made it slightly more enjoyable. I really hope his upcoming film, Dunkirk, is as enjoyable to me as his other works have been.