I’ll Follow You Down
Twentyone-year-old physics student Erol (Haley Joel Osment) lives a haunted life, every accomplishment and joy shadowed by the mysterious disappearance of his father when he was nine. On that inexplicable day, he and his mother Marika (Gillian Anderson) accompanied his father Gabriel (Rufus Sewell) to the airport to see him off for a conference at Princeton. He was supposed to be back in a matter of days. He was never heard from again, by anyone, and seemed to have literally vanished off the face of the earth. Gabriel was a brilliant physicist and all these years later, Erol is following in his path. One day, his grandfather discovers some of Gabriel’s old project files. Through these materials, Erol is able to trace the precise place of his disappearance. And learns exactly what it was that he was working on. It was a bizarre project, one of earth-shaking implications that on the surface sounds impossible but is in fact scientifically sound. Compellingly so. Realizing that this invention might offer a means of bringing his father back, Erol is determined to follow the research through, opening the doors to a fascinating adventure that will see him risk everything. Literally, everything.
With his truly amazing I’LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN, writer/director Richie Mehta (AMAL) had made one of the only films in recent memory that can be likened to the work of Ray Bradbury, harkening back to a time when science fiction was a genre of intimate, human stories, dreamt up with intellectual curiosities and wonders of metaphysical possibility. And what casting. Osment absolutely shines, his remarkable ability to channel empathy that made him so brilliant a child actor in such films as THE SIXTH SENSE and A.I. intact as an adult. Anderson is as strong as ever, her performance steeped in a shade of melancholia and emotional fragility that her iconic X-FILES work rarely allowed her to delve into.
A gripping exploration of fate, choice and consequence, I’LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN is a deeply moving fantasy drama, free of postmodern irony or bombastic spectacle. It’s the kind of smart, plausible science-fiction tale rarely told anymore in cinema, a precious gem created with absolute conviction that delivers like an existential powerhouse.
— Mitch Davis