Sunday, 20 May 2012

Following (4½ Stars)

This film is often considered Christopher Nolan's first full length film, but technically it isn't. At 67 minutes in length it's officially a short film, since 70 minutes is the borderline between short and full length films.

The film seemed strange when it started, but within 20 minutes I was riveted. The main character is Bill, an unemployed writer in London. No exact date is given, but the film seems to be set in the late 1980's. Bill spends his days following random people. Never the same person twice. No malicious intents. It's just voyeuristic curiosity.

The turning point comes when he's challenged by Cobb, a man he has been following. Cobb introduces himself as a burglar who doesn't just enter homes to steal things, he also wants to enter the lives of people and get to know them by examining their personal belongings. This fascinates Bill, and they commit crimes together. But it causes problems for Bill when he decides to follow one of the women he has robbed.

The film goes through many twists and turns. It's sometimes difficult to follow, since the scenes are shown out of chronological order. This seems to be a favorite style of Christopher Nolan, since he also did this in "The Prestige". I found the lack of chronology unnecessary in "The Prestige", but in "Following" it works well. However, I do recommend that my readers watch the film twice. A lot of the details aren't apparent until the second viewing. And the film is only 67 minutes long, after all.

Click here to view the trailer.

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