Monday, September 19, 2011

The Fall


The Fall is a strange and beautiful movie. Although it's definitely its own thing, you could compare it to Pan's Labyrinth or The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, or other mind-trip films with gorgeous cinematography.

I can't believe I never heard of this until a few weeks ago. As soon as I heard the premise, then saw the preview, I had to see the movie. And it's well worth it, for the imagery alone.

The story itself is of two people who meet in a hospital: a little girl, Alexandria, with a broken arm, and Roy Walker, a movie stunt man who has seriously injured himself and is now contemplating suicide. They meet incidentally, and he begins to tell her a vast fantasy story, partly to entertain her and partly to manipulate her.


The fantasy story is the richer, less coherent part of the film, although it fits as it is mutable and involves a lot of input from Alexandria, whose expression of interest or boredom often influences the direction of the story. Roy's cruel streak is balanced by Alexandria's optimism, and the story and reality conflate toward the end of the film.


The movie ends on a wistful, bittersweet note. The fairy tale/mythology motifs are subtle but present. And as I said, the film is worth watching for the cinematography alone.

1 comment:

  1. I love this movie too!
    Just saw it for the first time a few weeks ago; it hadn't really been on my radar, because I wasn't too fond of 'The Cell', by the same director.

    My favorite scene is probably the one where he makes the girl squeeze his toes, and the way she sort of but not quite keeps denying she changed toes, and then just touches his face...

    I read later that, during the shooting of those hospital scenes, the director had the actor pretend that he couldn't walk, even to all the other actors and the people on the set; you can sort of tell the girl considers it all to be real, and takes it in stride.