[[quoteright:280:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/following_9761.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:280: [[TagLine You're Never Alone.]]]]

->''"Why are you following me?"''

'''''Following''''' is a 1998 [[FilmNoir neo-noir]], Creator/ChristopherNolan's first feature-length film.

The plot concerns a young, unemployed writer who takes to following random strangers through the streets of London, ostensibly seeking inspiration for stories. He sets rules to keep this low-level stalking from going too far, but quickly breaks these rules upon discovering that his latest subject is a burglar. The burglar, one Mr. Cobb, confronts the writer; recognizing him as an impressionable soul, Cobb suggests the writer accompany him on his next break-in.

Cobb is [[WickedCultured rather philosophical about his profession]]: he doesn't burglarize for the money, but for the thrill of invading others' privacy and the intellectual interest of learning about the lives of complete strangers from their possessions. He justifies his thefts and petty vandalism by stating that this forces his victims to reevaluate their own lives. The writer tries to remain an aloof observer, but Cobb's voyeurism draws him in--into a relationship with a blonde model (one of Cobb's victims), a {{blackmail}} plot, and a very nasty triple-cross.

Now has a [[Characters/{{Following}} character sheet]] in need of expansion.

Not be confused with the television series starring {{Kevin Bacon}}, ''Series/{{The Following}}''.

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!!"Why would you want to fuck up their example list?"\\
"You take it away, to show them what they had."

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!!"They probably just misplaced the examples..."

* AnachronicOrder: Used to keep the audience in the dark about the blonde's and Cobb's real motivations, just like the writer was. The bulk of the film is a flashback related by the writer to a police detective. Within that flashback, three streams (originating at the beginning, the one-third point, and the two-thirds point of the story) run concurrently.
* AnInsert
* AntiHero: The Young Man / The Writer is an impressionable loser who quickly gets hooked into dubious hijinks.
* BackBlocking: The final shot is Cobb standing in a crowded street. Someone walks in front of the camera, and once they pass by, Cobb is gone without a trace.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Cobb is revealed to be working for the Bald Guy, and he murders the blonde with the same hammer the Writer used during the burglary of the Bald Guy, due to the Blonde blackmailing the Bald Guy with evidence to the murder that he committed in her flat. The Writer is held responsible for all of Cobb's crimes, and Cobb goes free, [[KarmaHoudini without a trace.]]]]
* BatmanGambit : If one considers that a few minor details could've made the whole thing fall apart.
* BeardnessProtectionProgram: At Cobb's suggestion, the writer shaves his beard and changes his whole appearance to avoid being recognized by a witness.
* BlackAndGreyMorality
* {{Blackmail}}: But not by the person you think is pulling it.
* BreakInThreat: Sometimes Cobb doesn't take anything, but just goes through keepsakes and makes sure the people there know it, in order to disrupt their lives.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler: The pearl earring that Cobb hid, the credit card that belonged to D. Lloyd, the hammer used during the theft of the Bald Guy and the murder of the Blonde, the pairs of the Blonde's underwear, and the passport photos of the Blonde are all used as evidence against Cobb, or rather, [[FallGuy the Writer]]]].
* CovertPervert: During their theft of the blonde's apartment, Cobb and the writer steal some of her underwear.
* CriminalDoppelganger
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: A rather subtle one at the end, harkening back to what started the whole thing. [[spoiler:After framing the Writer for the Blonde's murder, Cobb makes his escape through a crowd. He pauses to look around if he's been followed again, then dissappears forever.]]
* DropTheHammer: Several characters are strong believers in the use of ordinary hardware hammers as weapons of self-defense, torture, or murder.
* EvilPlan: Stalking for story inspiration doesn't ''sound'' evil but it does get the plot in motion and lead to the other {{plan}}s.
* FallGuy: Ultimately, the plot boils down to a very elaborate scheme to set up a semi-innocent man to take the fall for a crime that has not yet been committed.
* FemmeFatale: The blonde.
* FilmNoir
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The fate of the man that owed the Bald Guy some money foreshadows the [[spoiler: nearly same fate of the Blonde.]]
* GentlemanThief
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Cobb kills the Blonde and frames the Writer for it. The last we see of Cobb is him standing in a crowd of people as he looks around as if checking if he's been followed, and then... he's gone.]]
* MostWritersAreWriters: Protagonist is a struggling, unemployed young writer.
* NoBudget: The budget was about $6000; Nolan said that, even for a low-budget shoot, the production was "extreme".
* NamelessNarrative: The characters' names are not revealed, except for Cobb, and that may or may not be a pseudonym; the writer alternately gives his name as Bill or Daniel, but he's just listed in the credits as "the young man".
* OneBookAuthor: Most of the cast were just friends of Nolan's who had day jobs. Cobb is actor Alex Haw's one and only film credit, though he gives a good performance. This is also Jeremy Theobald's only major screen role. He has a regular job in the field of health.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Delivered by the blonde to the writer.
* ShoutOut:
** The writer has a Franchise/{{Batman}} logo prominently displayed on his apartment door. (This was actor Jeremy Theobald's actual apartment, so it's unknown if he or Nolan put the logo there.)
** Among the posters featured in the Writer's flat are ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'', ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'', and ''Film/ReservoirDogs''. One of the [=CDs=] that were removed from [[spoiler: the blonde's box]] is the soundtrack for ''Film/{{Trainspotting}}''. Also in a few scenes, pictures of Creator/JackNicholson as [[Film/{{TheShining}} Jack Torrance]] can clearly be seen on the Writer's wall.
* TheSpook: Cobb.
* StalkerWithoutACrush
* StalkerWithACrush, as far as the Blonde is concerned.
* {{Troll}}: Cobb. He steals one of the blonde's earrings and leaves the other behind [[ForTheEvulz just to screw with her]]
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:The writer, and [[OutGambitted the blonde]].]]
* WickedCultured: Cobb.
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