DVD RE-VIEW , THE FALL. BY 790
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY TARSEM SINGH.
STARS: LEE PACE, CATINCA UNTARU, ROBIN SMITH, LEO BILL, JEETU VERMA, MARCUS WESLEY, JULIAN BLEACH, EMIL HOSTINA, JUSTINE WADDELL, AND DANIEL CALTAGIRONE.
Run Time: 117 min.
The Fall, premiered in 2006 but wasn’t released until May 2008, only recently I was able to catch this on dvd. The film was shot in over 18 different countries, and took over 4 years to make… I figured it deserved a re-view.
The Fall, opens with a stunning black & white visual looking back to an old silent action film. It appears something terrible has happened during shooting, as chaos insues the melancholy sounds of Beethovens Symphony No 7 play in the tragic background. As the film opens its 1920, Los Angeles (once upon a time).
Roy Walker, (Lee Pace) is an injured stunt man apparently paralysed from the waste down due to a bad fall. Bedridden in a Catholic Hospice, he befriends a 5 year old Russian immigrant girl named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru). She’s in the hospice suffering from a broken collar bone that occured during a raid on her families home. A raid by bandits, that also tragically took her fathers life.
The playfull Alexandria encounters Roy after one of her letters falls into his bedroom window (This film is heavy with symbolism). As the epic story takes off, Roy begins to tell her the tale of Alexander the Great, but she asks for a pirate story instead.
As we leave the dreary hospital behind we are transported to a highly visual landscape of characters and colours. Tarsem also directed The Cell if you recall the visuals in that film were brilliant, it’s no different in The Fall.
Roy begins to tell the story of the Black Bandit, and his quest to save his twin brother the Blue Bandit. The main character (Black Bandit) is also Alexandrias father played by (Emil Hostina), the characters in the hospice also take on familiar roles in the epic story. The epic story begins with our five heroes stranded on beautiful Butterfly Reef, left behind to die at the hands of Governor Odious (Daniel Caltagirone). The Black Bandit, Ex-Slave Otta Benga (Marcus Wesley), The Indian (Jeetu Verma), Luigi , the Explosives expert (Robin Smith), The English naturalist, Charles Darwin (Leo Bill), and his brilliant monkey Wallace. ( I loved the monkey)
Governor Odious has captured the Blue Bandit, and plans to kill him at mornings light. Once off the island they encounter a Tree Mystic (Julian Bleach), who escorts them on they’re rescue. Soon they find out that they’re too late to save the Blue Bandit, he and his crew are slaughtered by Odious.
At this point (back at the hospital) Alexandria, asks Roy to tell the story as if he were the Black Bandit. He agrees as the mask comes off, we see Roy as the lead character in the story. After the death of the Blue Bandit, he swears to annihilate Governor Odious and everything he loves!!! At this point a near by patient in the hospital attacks Roy as he’s telling the story, citing that its too violent for this little girl. Alexandria runs out, but we later see her spying on Roy. It seems Roy is broken hearted over his girlfriend falling for the lead actor in the film he was working on. Alexandria returns the next day to hear the rest of the story but it seems Roy needs something from her if he is to continue. Roy needs morphine so he can sleep, and asks Alexandria to get it for him. At this point the film gets rather dark, while obtaining the morphine for Roy, she sees something that troubles her deeply. Unfortunately the morphin3 that Alexandria manages to steal isn’t enough, and Roy requests more, we soon find out why he wants the morphine.
The Fall took a wild turn in the middle that I really can’t spoil other than to say that I didn’t see it coming, and the reaction was very emotional. The film continues to tell the tale of the 5 Bandits in they’re quest to kill Governor Odious, as we travel from the dreary hospital to the fantasy world of Walker’s troubled state of mind.
The Fall is a very emotionally powerfull film that some will find depressing, troubling, and possibly confusing at times. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz meets Brazil. Break-out star Catinca Untaru was amazing, and her performance was Oscar worthy big time!!!
I will say this, The Fall does have amazing visuals, and a satisfying ending, one that makes you believe in the power of a good story, and the faith of hope.
The DVD has 2 commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and 2 incredible making of featurettes that show the intense directing of Tarsem.
The Fall is rated R.