If you’re a friend of mine, there’s an above average chance that I’ve already shoved this movie down your throat. Not only is it fantastic, but it gets better every time I see it.
A film made for a mere $7,000 over two-years using a group of non-actors is usually a recipe for destruction. But thankfully the architect behind this engrossing noir thriller was an aspiring young filmmaker named CHRISTOPHER NOLAN. He went on to garner a modicum of success with films like MEMENTO, INSOMNIA, BATMAN BEGINS, and its humble sequel, THE DARK KNIGHT (the second highest grossing film of all time. Just FYI). But before all of that, Christopher honed his storytelling ability with a little film about a frustrated writer who likes to randomly follow people.
Desperate for material, a lonely young writer begins following random strangers on their daily routines. But when he unwittingly befriends a charming manipulative burglar, he is thrust into a world of voyeurism and violation he may never escape.
I discovered this film when I accidentally stumbled upon the trailer on the Memento DVD. To this day, Memento is still my favorite movie of all time so I figured, if he did something else… might as well give it a shot. I found it at a local blockbuster and popped it in. Incredible. It’s not pretty or flashy, the acting is inconsistent, and technically it’s not far beyond most home movies.
But the STORYTELLING.
The non-linear format creates an intricately woven mystery in which I still discover new layers with each viewing. The character of Cobb reminds me of an early version of the Joker. Intelligent, playful, and utterly diabolical. And the ending revivals “The Usual Suspects” or “The Sixth Sense”. While most early low-budget films (“Clerks” or “El Marachi”) are impressive when taken with a grain of salt, Following not only embraces its limitations but transcends them to the point where this is the only way this story could be told.
Hit me back. Until next time…