Critic Consensus: Super brief but efficient, Following represents director Christopher Nolan's burgeoning talent in tight filmmaking and hard-edge noir.
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Critic Reviews for Following
Entertaining, but material doesn't develop the full, edgy potential that similar paranoid-triangle efforts realized.
Audiences will walk out of the theater shocked to find that only 70 minutes have gone by.
Besides the similarities in playing with time and structure, Nolan is already zeroed in on his favorite cinematic theme: obsession.
a harbinger of things to come, an exercise in the kind of temporal gymnastics, sleight-of-hand shifts in perspective, and rigorous insights into the dark depths of human nature that have defined Nolan's later films
Audience Reviews for Following
Christopher Nolan's first feature film, shot only on weekend when he and his crew had free time, is definitely an ambitious one to say the least. This very short 70 minute film follows a writer to follows people in order to get ideas, when one day he stumbles across a man who goes even further and breaks into homes to learn about that person. That portion of the film is brilliant, but once romance plays a significant part in the story, the film becomes much less interesting and pretty unnecessary. I really enjoyed watching this movie though. It's script is well-written, it's story well-crafted, and the performances were very solid. "Following" is definitely a showcase for the talent that Christopher Nolan would grow into and for that I admired it even more. It is not a great film and it is very simple, but overall it is really enjoyable.
Shot on weekends in 16mm black and white with available, often natural, light and on a budget of $6,000, this is the riveting feature film debut of one Christopher Nolan, who acted as writer, director, cinematographer, editor, and producer.
Presented in non-chronological order, this British neo-noir suspense thriller film is about a young wannabe writer with writer's block who tries to get inspiration from following various people around. It starts off fine enough, but soon leads him down a dark path of crime, deception, and betrayal.
There's some twists here, and the themes are things that have stuck with Nolan ever since, so this is undeniably a key entry in his filmography. It's made cheaply, and is rough around the edges, but I really appreciated the raw and gritty approach. Often overlooked, or perhaps just overshadowed by the similar, more polished Memento, this is an essential work that needs to receive more attention.
It's filled with tension, suspense, and all kinds of twists and turns, and takes great influence from film noir and the French New Wave. In fact, had the violence and profanity been toned down, then this could almost pass as an entry into either of those genres.
Definitely give this a look. It's not perfect, but it definitely delivers the goods where it counts.
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