Cinema is about the ancient art of telling stories. Is about breaking the chains that hold our minds. Entertainment is good but is not good enough. We can do more and we can do better. The Fall (2006), from Tarsem Singh, is a movie that knows this. This is my kind of movie.
Roy Walker (Lee Pace) and Alexandria (Catinca Untaru)
The plot is about Alexandria, a injured girl recovering in the hospital when she meets another patient, Roy Walker, and he tells her fantasy histories. The difference of age between them creates a language gap that is very interesting and well explored in the movie as it uses a lot of symbolism. Going deeper in the language issue some dialogues between them were improvised and had an impact in the original history giving a layer of authenticity to the movie.
In terms of photography, every frame of the movie is a piece of art by itself. Here are some of them:
This is what I’m talking about
Faceless evil soldiers.
Colors and composition.
A perfectly good excuse for filming a elephant swimming.
Subtle tribute to Godfather. One of many tributes in the movie.
This scene reminded me of the Balinese monkey chant from Baraka (1992). Bonus: Avatar (2009) also did it.
A stop motion scene.
Almost every scene is breathtaking and probably was really hard to film.
Seems that they used …
… a lot of blue ink.
One of the many amazing scenes that lasted less than 1 second!
In summary, it have all the ingredients to make a movie that I love:
- Amazing photography.
- A non-trivial plot. Doesn’t need to be really complex (though I like complex). In this case was a plot inside the plot.
- Language and symbolism.
- The struggle for (pick as many as you want): life, identity, purpose, love, and freedom.
- Do not underestimate the mind and the imagination,
- Good actors, good interpretation and when possible some improvisation.
- Subtle references as an icing on the cake.
Go see this movie.
If you liked The Fall you may also like
- I would say The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) but just saying watch everything from Terry Gilliam is more appropriate.
- Everything from Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman.
- The Cell (2006), also from Tarsem Singh.
- Cinema Paradiso (1988), Giuseppe Tornatore.
- I could say many others but if you take a look into psychological thrillers is enough.