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  • Justin Louallen

Following (1998) - Written Retro Review

Justin here. Continuing with my Christopher Nolan marathon before the release of his next film, Dunkirk, I decided to check out his very first film he directed, Following. This film was shot with little to no budget and Nolan himself handled most of the production behind the scenes. The story is about an unnamed young writer in London who considers himself as a follower, where he follows random people around and observes them for his novel that he is writing. Along the way, he comes across a sharp dressed man named Cobb, who introduces him to the criminal world and the writer becomes obsessed with Cobb's actions. The film digs into the psychological mindset of how far the writer gets himself involved with the things that Cobb does. For Nolan's first film, I found it very fascinating. It showcases a lot of Nolan's talents as a filmmaker with many of his trademark styles and structure that he uses in his later films. It has a very student film-ish quality to it, but with the way it's handled in it's non linear narrative similar to Memento, it works as a great character study and it succeeds at that. There are also references that would be in Nolan's later films such as Memento, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Inception. The acting is top notch, the black-and-white look gives it a very film noir vibe and the ending really shocked me with how everything came full circle. My only real con I had was that it seemed like some of the ways that the characters try to get away with the crimes I found a little jarring because realistically, it didn't seem like it would be that easy to get away with what they were doing. Other than that, I really enjoyed this and while it's not as great as his other films, this was a good start and I'm going to give Following an 8.5/10. Comment below on what you thought of it and I'll see you on my next review.

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