There are a handful of easily fixable problems with I’ll Follow You Down. Director Mehta shoots it in Panavision aspect ratio and doesn’t know what to do with all the width. Combined with Tico Poulakakis’s lens flare happy cinematography, Follow looks like a glossy television commercial. There’s never a sense of time or place, which is a big problem considering it’s about time and place.
Mehta isn’t great with directing actors either, but most of the cast can work through it. Gillian Anderson, for example, gives a breathtaking small performance. Mehta gives the cast a lot of room–it’s kind of a sci-fi story, but one where the human aspects are far more important (not to mention cheaper to shoot). So the film’s a showcase for Anderson.
Victor Garber also does really well and he’s got some of the hardest scenes in the film.
In the lead, Haley Joel Osment is decent. He’s occasionally really good, but he also has some too pat moments. He’s just not dramatic enough; like I said, Mehta isn’t great with actors. Rufus Sewell has the exact same problems so it’s clearly not the actors.
The only weak performance is Susanna Fournier as Osment’s girlfriend. She has the second hardest part after Garber and she can’t sell the scenes like he can.
Mehta has some iffy dialogue and a lot of missed opportunities, which might be budgetary, might not be budgetary.
But Follow has two great performances and two often good ones. It’s a conditional success.
Written and directed by Richie Mehta; director of photography, Tico Poulakakis; edited by Stuart A. McIntyre; music by Andrew Lockington; production designer, Chris Crane; produced by Lee Kim; released by eOne Films.
Starring Haley Joel Osment (Erol), Gillian Anderson (Marika), Rufus Sewell (Gabe), John Paul Ruttan (Young Erol), Susanna Fournier (Grace), Sherry Miller (Mrs. Moore) and Victor Garber (Sal).