Following (1998) – 4/5

Decent, twisty little thriller from Chris Nolan that doesn’t always make sense or line up perfectly but still manages to be suspenseful and engaging enough throughout to more than make up for its shortcomings. Mostly. And talk about low-budget, yikes! $6,000 dollars? Granted this was made in the late 90s, and was shot in black and white, but still, for a film that looks this good, it’s impressive.

Nolan is up to his usual narrative tricks here, twisting story and character motivation around and around until, by the end, you’re left scratching your head wondering whether any of it actually made sense. My current theory is, yes, probably. Some of it, at least. The whole story feels right on the cusp of reality, much like a lot of Nolan’s other films tend to do. There’s just too much coincidence, too much absurdity to take completely seriously when all is said and done. And yet, it’s a very serious film, and it works, for the most part.

The acting is pretty good all around, too. And it’s eerie just how much the lead character looks like James Mcavoy at the beginning. Separated at birth, perhaps? But good acting, especially from the main “villain” guy with the great hair. The woman is good here too; she pulls off the classic 1950s Hitchcock blonde look perfectly, which was something I didn’t think was possible to do anymore. I stand corrected. Her look is no coincidence, either, given the story. A nice touch.

Overall, I liked the film. It has its issues: the story requires you to suspend your disbelief a bit too many times, and the main character’s transformation from lone good guy writer to **SPOILERS** murderous criminal **END SPOILERS** was a bit too quick to be completely convincing, but the thing is well shot, acted, and directed, and the ending, though somewhat absurd, is not at all what I was expecting. It’s also Nolan’s least annoyingly edited film, probably because it was his first and he hadn’t yet gotten into the habit of being all edgy and experimental with his pacing.  Oh, and the Batman logo on the door was a weird touch in retrospect. Coincidence, or did he know? Hmm.

So, worth watching, especially if you’re a fan of old-timey Hitchcock type crime films, or Christopher Nolan.

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