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Following February 27, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

A black & white noir film made on a shoestring budget, Christopher Nolan’s debut feature (written, directed and shot by him) shows the promise that he fulfilled with later films (Memento, Insomnia). This film was produced by him and Jeremy Theobald, who plays the lead role, alongwith Emma Thomas. It was apparently shot on Saturdays because most of those involved with the project had other full time commitments (source: IMDB).

Bill (Jeremy Theobald) is a strange voyeur who likes to shadow people and observe them to get rid of his loneliness. What starts off as a pastime turns into an obsession. On one such occasion, he follows a thief called Cobb (Alex Haw), who discovers he’s being followed and confronts him. Realising that he is harmless, Cobb decides to introduce Bill to his world of crime and that is when things start going wrong for Bill.

Nolan uses a similar non-linear narrative as in Memento which helps in hiding the key twists till very late. Though the film could do without it, it nevertheless helps complicate the plot, making it more interesting. The film starts off very promisingly trying to delve into the psyche of a jobless wannabe writer seemingly fascinated with crime as much as he is with people. It gives the viewer an intriguing insight of how the dark corners of the mind could be tapped into through the character of Cobb and his burglaries that fascinate Bill. Though Nolan manages to keep you hooked till the end with the ambience (which is superb) and narrative, the screenplay feels a bit too convenient by the time the film ends.

Theobald and Princeton graduate Haw make an impression. Apart from his directorial skills, Nolan’s cinematography also deserves applause. The 69 minute length is a plus for this creepy film (it doesn’t feel as short though). If you can discount the implausibility of it all, this film makes an appealing watch for those who like the genre.


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