The Fall Tarsem Singh

The Fall Tarsem Singh
Unlike director Tarsem’s (best known for his work in advertising and music video directing) feature film debut The Cell, The Fall is a movie that you should actually watch with the sound on. It has the director’s singular visual flair and knack for choosing the most beautiful shooting locations on the planet, but it also has sympathetic characters and a fun, fantastical storytelling element. Set in 1920s Los Angeles in a hospital, a young girl named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) strikes up a friendship with depressed and possibly paralysed actor Roy (Lee Pace). Five-year-old migrant worker Alexandria has broken her arm at her job picking oranges and Roy entertains her by telling her an epic fairy-tale about five heroes who come together to seek revenge on the powerful and cruel ruler of the land. In exchange, Roy manipulates Alexandria into stealing morphine for him. Roy’s story is viewed through Alexandria’s eyes and is populated by people from around the hospital in double roles, portrayed visually with endless imagination and super-saturated colours. As things get bleaker for the characters in the hospital, so the parallel story becomes increasingly dark and surreal. The film is just stunning to watch. Tasem’s ability to construct images is completely unparalleled in mainstream Hollywood cinema. This time around he also has help, with The Fall’s script having an interesting narrative structure and characters that you care about. The actors, all relative unknowns due to the film's rigorous, globetrotting, four-year shooting schedule, are great, with Pace making his tortured, drug-seeking patient likeable and the precocious Untaru being hilarious and absolutely wonderful to watch. (Treetop)