Monday, 2 April 2012

The Review - The Fall

This is Hannah's husband Luke, doing another "guest post". This time I thought I would review a movie, and I picked The Fall (released 2008). This film might be considered art-house, but does not fit comfortably in any genre. The plot centres on Alexandria, a 6-year-old girl in 1920s Los Angeles, who is in hospital with a broken arm. She encounters a movie stuntman named Roy, who has been involved in a botched stunt leaving him unable to walk. Having been dumped by his girlfriend, and with potentially career-ending injuries, Roy is in a state of severe depression. He and Alexandria quickly strike up a relationship, and he begins telling her a fantastical tale about a band of heroes on a quest to defeat the evil Governor Odious and free their land from his rule. Eventually, the real world and the fantasy one start to intertwine, reaching an exciting climax in both of them.

This movie is completely unlike any other I have seen before. It is sort of like a grown-up version of The Wizard of Oz meets The Princess Bride. Every frame is a feast for the eyes, with the fantasy heroes travelling through a series of stunning scenes on their quest. The movie's production was also unlike most: it was actually filmed on location in over 20 countries, and took four years to make. All of the film's incredible visuals were real places - from an Escher-like stepped well in which black-clad bad guys climb stairs in endless processions, to a gigantic stone castle in the midst of a blue-painted city (see below). The realism is further enhanced by the fact that most of the lines for Alexandria were unscripted - young Catinca Untaru, who played her, was merely interacting naturally with Lee Pace, who portrayed Roy. Director Tarsem Singh appears to have set out to make a movie in a unique fashion: it is a fantasy painted out of reality. As film critic Roger Ebert said, "You might want to see [it] for no other reason than that it exists. There will never be another like it." (source)

Now for some photos:

The heroes: the slave, the explosives expert, the Masked Bandit, the Indian, and Charles Darwin (yes, that Darwin).

 The Blue City - actually Jodhpur in India


These images demonstrate something of the sheer imaginative style of The Fall. One point in which it is similar to The Wizard of Oz is the way characters from the real world look the same as characters in the fantasy. In conclusion, I can only heartily recommend The Fall, although I would add that it is somewhat dark and not a children's movie.

Finally, the trailer for your viewing pleasure:


  1. Oh, never heard of this movie before but the trailer looks good! Will have to track it down :)

  2. :DDDDD I am so delighted that you guys like the movie! It is my favorite! Were you able to see the behind the scenes featurettes? It's been a while since I watched them, but they're like mini-documentaries made by someone on set. It includes some really interesting insight into how Lee Pace stayed in character for the duration of the shoot (and his feelings about having to keep his ability to walk a secret), as well as, you know, more of the breathtaking scenery in the film. Definitely worth a watch if you have access!

    (Also, hello Luke! Hello Hannah! <3 )