I've been sitting on my Netflix DVDs for about 3 weeks. I've been watching Following in fits and starts. Finally finished it today. Christopher Nolan directed. He also directed Memento. That was a good movie, but I never bought in to the hype that he was doing anything amazing. To quote Orson Card,
Following is an earlier film. It employs some of the same techniques as Memento. Memento was all about the reverse-storytelling, but Following simply employs the technique to keep from telling everything to the viewer and thus ruining the story. It's basically a caper story, and it's decently done. It's a little noirish, and I like that it's done in black and white with only a few actors having actual lines. Still, it left me somewhat uninterested in the sad-sack character Bill at the heart of the story. Making a character such as that the heart of a story has it's risks to the filmmakers. In real life, people don't like and don't identify with losers. Putting one at the heart of a story is difficult. The writers have to make us believe that he is noble at heart in order to get past our antipathy to such people. Nolan failed to do that in this movie. So as Bill gets drawn deeper and deeper into into a burglary crime wave, I don't much care for whether or not he gets caught. Nor do the bruises that mysteriously appear on his face in some of the out of order scenes move me. By the time the movie gets around to revealing who did it, it's so anti-climactic that, combined with my disinterest to Bill, there's not much left to draw me in to his plight.
Still, the movie is interesting in other respects. I really liked Cobb, the burglar who draws Bill in to the scheme. He's suave and charming, and pulls off his heists with aplomb, not to mention that he chews up the screen as an actor. Loved him. Wish Nolan had made him the focus of the story (although he's in a lot of it).