An older man listens to Bill's story about being a callow writer who likes to follow strangers around London, observing them. One day, a glib and self-confident man whom Bill has been following confronts him. He's Cobb, a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and shows him how to break and enter. They burgle a woman's flat; Bill gets intrigued with her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He follows her and chats her up at a bar owned by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who killed someone in her living room with a hammer. Soon Bill is volunteering to do her a favor, which involves a break-in. What does the older man know that Bill doesn't?Written by
At the site of the safe robbery, when The Young Man drops his pants to tape the money to his legs, he's wearing striped underwear (which are also seen hanging on a clothesline during the confrontation between The Young Man and Cobb later in the film), but when he returns to his apartment and removes the money, he's wearing underwear with polka dots. See more »
The following is my explanation. Well, more of an account of what happened. I'd been on my own for a while and getting kind of lonely... and bored... nothing to do all day. And that's when I started shadowing.
Shadowing - Following. I started to follow people
Anyone at first. Um,
you know, that was the whole point - somebody at random, someone who didn't know who I was.
And then nothing.
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The movie was filmed from 1996 to 1997 and first released in 1998. However, the copyright date in the credits is listed as being 1999. See more »
The Criterion Collection DVD features an additional "Chronological Edit" of the film, which places the scenes in linear order. See more »
Christopher Nolan's first directorial effort, a year before he did "Memento," and this is almost as brilliant as that classic. He uses time differentials in a similar manner to tell his story, and it's a very clever one.
Bill is this young writer who begins following complete strangers around just to see where they live and what they're all about. One day, he follows this man, Cobb, who turns the tables and confronts Bill, who breaks down and confesses what he's up to.
Cobb is a burglar and he takes Bill along on a few jobs to teach him the ropes. Both men are voyeurs of a sort and a bond begins to grow between the two of them.
But there's an ulterior motive for Cobb nurturing this relationship, and it all ties in very smartly at the end. No, I won't spoil it but this is a very cool movie and I'm beginning to think Christopher Nolan is a genius.
If you like suspense films with surprise endings, this one is a must see.
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