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THE FALL, 2006
Movie Reviews!

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THE FALL MOVIE POSTER
THE FALL, 2006
Movie Reviews

Directed by Tarsem Singh
Starring: Catinca Untaru, Lee Pace, Justine Waddell, Robin Smith, Marcus Wesley, Leo Bill, Jeetu Verma, Emil Hostina, Julian Bleach
Review by Gemma Eagle



SYNOPSIS:

The director of the Cell (Starring Jennifer Lopez), Tarsem (previously Tarsem Singh) bring us The Fall, an incredibly beautiful fantasy based on the screenplay Yo Ho Ho by Valery Petrov.

Roy Walker (played by Lee Pace), an early 20th century Hollywood stuntman, lands in the hospital after performing a dangerous stunt to impress his girlfriend. When things go awry he finds himself bedridden, distraught, and suicidal after losing her to the star of the film. Confined to his hospital bed he befriends fellow patient Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a young immigrant girl with a broken arm and enchants her with a fantastical tale about five heroes which is presented through Alexandria’s eyes as she vividly imagines it.

Although Roy develops genuine affection for Alexandria, plagued by his suicidal fantasies, the story seems nothing more than an elaborate trick to gain her confidence into stealing morphine for him from the hospital pharmacy.

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REVIEW:

Whilst I normally avoid films which feature children as central characters (notably scarred since Aliens introduced Newt as a character and I found myself hoping the aliens would destroy, all including myself), the Fall has re-established my faith in young actors. Played by Catinca Untaru the character of Alexandria is both charming and real throughout the entire film. Untaru (a Romanian child who was 7 years old at the time of shooting) has that blend of curiosity, wonderment, practicality and sarcasm that only comes from a combination of great direction and natural instinct.

Pace is utterly believable and sincere in his demonized portrayal of Roy, setting up a story so that the young listener can fill in the visual details with the things she is familiar with, a la Wizard of Oz. Untaru is priceless--she and Pace share scenes that are so honest. They feel like real people. And because they are real, we're free to let the preposterous adventure-fantasy come and go as it wishes. The story within the story is inconsistent, weird and occasionally hilarious-- -but that's life in a nutshell, isn't it?

Tarsem has obviously forged a strong bond to the material and he has given us an honest version of the film culminating in this visual master class in cinema. Despite the growing use of CGI in films, The Fall was set in real locations which indulge in the director’s obvious love of perfectly framed imagery. The film is packed with fire, spectacular shots and colour so vivid it’s almost touchable. From the vast orange deserts, to the crisp blue skies, the film truly transports you into the locations along with the characters, drawing you completely in to this fantastically strange tale.

The Fall is a celebration of cinema, of old-fashioned storytelling and globe-hopping spectacle.

Not unlike the cell, the films visuals are more compelling than the story itself, though the relationship between Pace and Untaru is the films plot savior. A tale of self realization, struggle and mental exhaustion, the film leaves you walking away feeling all three things at once.

Despite the sometimes overly dizzying plot, the film has to be hailed as a ‘how to’ in film making. For me, there are very few films which come closer to the visual caliber of this film regardless if you’re a fan of the plot of not.

What’s evident most of all is the love. Love put into making the film, love of the story teller, and the pure passion fed into every ounce of creating this blend of fantasy and visual dynamics.

The biggest let down of the film? Tarsem removing ‘Singh’ from his last name, leaving us simply with the assumption that he is now one of those people who refer to themselves in the third person!

Points for originality ‘Tarsem’? – 0/10.

Verdict

The fall relies heavily on both the characters imaginations and the audiences’. Viewers will find themselves either swept up entirely or left lost in the desert wondering what the fuss was about. Either way it’s a must see for the simple fact that a film as visually dazzling as this, exists, regardless of the plot.

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