568. Following (1998)

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7.5 Intelligent but tough
  • Acting 7.4
  • Directing 7.5
  • Story 7.6
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Jeremy Theobald, Alex Haw, Lucy Russell

Director: Christopher Nolan

Running Time: 69 mins


Following is a British film about a young writer who follows random people just to see what they’re up to, who gets accidentally involved with a cunning thief that takes him under his wing to show him a new lease of life.

It may not be the big-money blockbuster we’re used to seeing Christopher Nolan do, but this quickfire, low-budget independent film has all of the brilliantly intelligent hallmarks of any Nolan film.

One of the most interesting things about this film is how quickly it starts off. There’s no messing around with a lengthy introduction to a main character that is deliberately dull and two-dimensional, and it gets straight into the story of his relationship with this thief, and how it changes his life.

It’s a fascinating story, and I would compare it closely with the plot of Fight Club. It was made a year before, but it was perhaps some form of inspiration for David Fincher’s film, as this film follows the life of a bored young man who is shown the way to a better life by a simple new activity.

Of course, in its short running time, with its extremely low budget, there’s no opportunity for it to reach the heights of the insanity of Fight Club, and don’t think for a moment that there’s the same twist, because there isn’t, but it’s still a fascinating and intelligent story that really engrosses you from start to finish.

Having said that, the one problem with this film was that it was so short. I did enjoy the fact that it was fast-paced and relatively easy-going on your brain (especially for a Nolan film), but I was so enticed in the story that the second it finished, which was relatively abruptly, I was a little upset I couldn’t see more.

But that was surely a budgetary matter, because on a budget of only $6,000, there was little the filmmakers could do. Shot with a wind-up black-and-white camera and three actors, it’s a perfect showing of simplicity on the face of things, with underlying genius in the screenplay, showing you you don’t need big money blockbusters to really make you think, and that’s why this gets a 7.5.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com