The Fall (2008)

Monday, June 29, 2009
Last month, Barbara, the Bad Tempered Zombie posted a review about a movie I had never heard of...The Fall. I was intrigued by her review and decided to add it to my list of movies to watch. This weekend I finally got a chance and I'm kicking myself for having waited even a day after hearing about it to see it. Rather than trying to layout the plot for you, here is the summary from the official movie website:

Languishing in a hospital, Roy Walker is a broken man in more ways than one: Unable to walk after a fall from a horse in a movie stunt gone wrong, his heart is also broken after his girlfriend ran off with the movie's leading man. Ready to end his life, Roy befriends five-year-old fellow patient Alexandria with the goal of persuading her to steal a lethal dose of morphine pills for him.

Roy launches into a story that fuses patients, staff and others at the hospital with imagined personas and exotic lands. What he describes as "an epic tale of love and revenge" is so riveting to Alexandria that she will do whatever Roy asks in order to hear the next installment. The tale loosely mirrors the ill-fated love triangle that has left him heartsick and features Alexandria's favourite nurse Evelyn as the beautiful Princess Evelyn; Sinclair, the movie star who stole Roy's girlfriend, as the detested Governor Odius; and Roy himself as the avenging Black Bandit who leads the attack on the governor with the help of a colourful posse that includes Alexandria as the Black Bandit's daughter.

But as the story takes a darker turn, Alexandria begins to realize there is far more at stake than the fate of a handful of imaginary characters. It's up to Roy whether the Black Bandit - and Roy himself - will survive the climactic final scene.

How much did I enjoy this movie? So much so that after finishing watching it for the first time, I waited 10 minutes, grabbed a snack, and settled in to watch it again. That's righ folks, twice in the same afternoon. Even if you completely ignored the plot and turned down the volume so you couldn't follow the dialogue, this movie is still breathtaking. The visual extravaganza is no surprise given that the movie is produced and directed by Tarsem Singh...the man behind The Cell.

So, what was it that I loved the most about this film? Beautifully designed costumes that flow and float through every scene, an ability to use brilliant colours you rarely see in film these days, or the fantastical tale told by the broken Roy? Yes. How do you chose? Perhaps the most surprising part of this adventure was the acting. Little Cantinca Untaru (Alexandria) was incredible to watch. And Lee Pace (Roy Walker/Black Bandit)? Why haven't we heard of this guy before? Oh, wait, apparently we have...he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the television series Pushing Daisies which I have heard about but never watched. I'll remedy that soon enough. The exhanges between Roy and Alexandria were almost frightening to watch. Acting? If that's acting, give these two an armful of awards please. As I told Barbara, I felt as though I was eavesdropping on their private, behind the curtains conversations. It was reminiscent of almost every conversation I've had with my niece or nephew (not the subject matter obviously - we don't discuss stealing drugs on a regular basis) - real conversations flow exactly as theirs did on film.

If you haven't taken Barb's advice and seen this movie, I hope you will now take mine. GO! Rent this movie! Now!!!!!!!


Wandering Coyote said...

Yepp - I HAVE to see this!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You have made me feel very proud of myself, Captain, as though I actually did something more than just yap about this film!

Even if you completely ignored the plot and turned down the volume so you couldn't follow the dialogue, this movie is still breathtaking.
I could not agree more. This is such a stunningly beautiful film, and fortunately the acting and the story are mesmerizing as well.
Now I really want to see it again. Thanks for the great reminder.

Gardenia said...

I should like to see this! I love the lush movies!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Totally agree with everything that you said. This is one of those gems that gets totally overlooked by most movie goers. It is as lyrical and magical a movie that has been made in a long time. You are overwelmed with such beautiful visual storytelling that you let go any plot holes that may exist in the film. One of those movies that makes me look smart when I recommend it to others. Reminds me of the best fairy tale never written.

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