Friday, June 13, 2008

The Fall

Tarsem Singh, director.

The Fall is one of a very few movies that as I walked out, everyone with whom I went to see it had the exact opposite opinion of mine. I stayed through the credits in order to see where they filmed this impossibly lavish movie. It turns out, in 18 countries scattered around the planet, but mostly in India. I should have known when one of my friends left halfway through, presumably to smoke a cigarette, and I never saw him again. Upon exiting the theater and much to my indignation, both of my friends told me that I was fired, and that I will no longer be allowed to pick movies. All that being said, the movie is gorgeous and compelling and even after rethinking my viewing, I still recommend it wholeheartedly.

I've heard lots of comparisons: The Princess Bride, Amelie, Pan's Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, but none fit so well as Singh's first movie The Cell or the beautifully shot Baraka. The back story is that in a 1920's Los Angeles hospital a young Romanian girl is convalescing from a broken arm when she meets a twenty-something stunt double who broke his legs and is now paralyzed. He sets about telling her an elaborate tale, the plot of which changes according to her fractured command of English and his fragile state. Reality intrudes into the fantasy and vice versa as the story goes on, affecting itself. But the story is really secondary to the lush imagery.

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