Fantasia Festival: Iíll Follow You Down (2013)

Tranquil Dreams, 29 July 2013
By Kim
Thanks Laila

This is what a World Premiere feels like! I went to see 'Iíll Follow You Down' at the Fantasia Festival with my best friend and it was the world premiere yesterday evening. One of the actresses, Susanna Fournier was there and the director, Richie Mehta was there also to make an opening speech. After the credits, Richie Mehta and the producer or production manager (canít remember which one they said), Lee Kim was there to talk a bit about the concept of the movie and then answered some questions from the audience. The experience was pretty awesome!

In 2000 set in Toronto, 9 year old Erol and his scientist father (Rufus Sewell) needs to finish off a chess game before heading on a plane to a conference in Princeton for 3 days. However, when Errol and his mother, Marika go to pick up his father, they realize that he has vanished and the last person to see him before the mysterious disappearance was Erolís grandfather Sal (Victor Garber), a professor at Princeton. 12 years later, Erol (Haley Joel Osment) and Marika both struggle to live after the disappearance. By chance he learns that Sal is trying to figure out the research that his father was doing before he disappeared on wormholes and the concept that there are many spaces in time and that his father has accomplished going back in time to 1946 to meet Einstein. He also offered that the only way he can retrieve his father back is to figure out how to re-create the time travel at a certain point in time.

'Iíll Follow You Down' is an emotional drama sci-fi mystery. Iím not a fan of sci-fi usually but this one was pretty impressive. The setting, lighting created a really suitable atmosphere and mood to the movie. It was paced well and was a comfortable 92 minutes long (rare nowadays that movies donít go over 2 hours). To me, that make it effective as they simplified and let certain things be concise and direct, straight to the point. It kept me engaged and wanting to figure out more. Plus, there were a few twists that changed from the norm and because of that, it was definitely a good change. Time travel is a really tricky premise to do and it all comes down to whether the audience buys the concept. In this one, the simplicity among the complex concept of the time travel really helps. As technical as they tried to make it more believable, it was also explained in a way that it was easy to grasp what they wanted to do.

The cast was perfect in every way. Although a lot of the actors and actresses are known but not completely active in Hollywood as much, this movie still shows their full potential. For one, Haley Joel Osment was popular as a young actor back in 2000/2001 with the breakthrough role in 'The Sixth Sense' and followed through with 'A.I.' According to IMDB, he did a lot of voice work for video games and some animations. Seeing him back on screen is different. For one, he looks completely different and his acting has definitely matured. I see him doing really great things if he get the opportunity. He had to go through a spectrum of emotions in this movie from sad, happy, scared, nervous and being especially smart and perspective and he did it all.

As for the other cast members, they did amazing performances all around. I havenít seen Gillian Anderson much, especially since 'X-Files' was before my TV streaming days and with bunny ears I think I watched one episode of it and then Rufus Sewell, I only know from 'The Holiday' as that jerk boss that takes advantage of Kate WinsletĎs character. However, I am a huge fan of Victor Garber so I was super happy to watch him in this.

However, just a note that it gave me a bit more to reflect on because I listened to director and production talk about the movie. However, I didnít feel the same way as what they said they wanted to portray. As I think about it more, I understand what they want to portray with the concept of consequences but I canít really go into too much depth without spoilers. Lets just say, the director (and writer) of 'Iíll Follow You Down' wrote this for over 10 years. I applaud that effort because its amazing but however, if he wanted to portray ďawareness of mindfulnessĒ, Iím not exactly sure it did that. Maybe I missed something.

Overall, 'Iíll Follow You Down' is a solid sci-fi mystery drama based on the concept of time travel. Its story is nicely paced and is not lengthy. It focuses on ideas such as fate and choices, and as the director mentions, consequences. The atmosphere is captivating and the cast acts really well, with special mention to Haley Joel Osment. I highly recommend this movie! Its definitely one of my favorite movies of 2013.


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