The Fall is a collaborative adventure tale from the efforts of two ailing patients in a 1920’s Los Angeles hospital; one, an underhanded newly paralyzed man who trades snippets of entertainment in return for stolen pills, the other, a six year old girl who is looking for a father figure and interprets what she’s told as best as she can. I was always told never to judge a book by its cover, but proudly admit that visuals are always the first thing to catch my eye. Director, Tarsem Singh’s (The Cell) electric and vividly delicious eye candy easily has the most gorgeous and stunning cinematography in the history of film. (Including a brilliantly creepy and completely unexpected stop motion animation scene.) The rich backdrop is only comparable to the memorizing and wholly engaging story you are treated to. Details and complexities to the heartfelt and often heart wrenching tale are not spoon-fed to you like Hollywood is accustomed to these days. Rather, the facts are slow coming like an unwinding spool of thread. The acting is simply superb with a special kudos to the young Miss Catinca Untaru, who does not play the part of six year old Alexandria, no, she is the full embodiment of youth in its ultra truistic and real form. I don’t know if she’s old enough to grasp how genius her portrayal truly was. Not to be outdone, her counterpart, the exceedingly handsome (especially as the Red Bandit) Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) captures the despairing and befriending Roy Walker with sincerity and absolute ingenuity.
Five bandits are wronged by Governor Odious (Daniel Caltagirone). They are exiled to a butterfly shaped island where they unite and swear their revenge. Much in the same manner as Wizard of Oz, Alexandria casts people she knows in the “real world” to fills her story. The Ex-slave (Marcus Wesley) is drawn off the Ice delivery man, the Indian (Jeetu Verma) is a friend that works with her in the orange grove, Luigi the explosive expert (Robin Smith) is a one legged actor that visits Roy, Charles Darwin (Leo Bill) is an orderly in the hospital and the Red Bandit is of course the enchanting Roy. Together in their every changing cannon (IE Alexandria remarks how she thought the Red Bandit was Spanish as Roy swaps him to French) they cross surrealistic and mind blowing lands, fight guards, free slaves, kid nap a princess, and gain new accomplices, a mystic, and a little Red Bandit; Alexandria.
The story serves as a parallel for the enveloping real life unfolding around them and abstractly mirrors the movie Roy was working on immediately leading up to his hospitalization. If not for its depiction of death and suicide, and its rating this would make an excellent children’s movie much in the vein of The Never Ending Story or The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but instead it truly fulfills an adult’s need for fairytales. I would absolutely put this in the same category as Pan’s Labyrinth. I would suggest this to anyone and am quite confused why it didn’t receive the notoriety it deserved when it first came out. This beautiful, twisting and emotional tale will have you second guessing yourself the whole movie through and leave you completely entertained and satisfied. The Fall is a true masterpiece.
Have you heard of The Fall? What did you think of it? Drop me a line below.