A Short Review: The Fall (2006)

I agree with the Ebert assessment of The Fall: Definitely see it for the eye candy. The behind-the-scenes stuff on the DVD don’t do justice to the numbing number of shots in exotic locales that were set up — some for a two-second scene or less. From the opening credits which depict a rescue effort unfolding in slow motion to the final denouement, the visual artistry (costuming, cinematography, locales, special effects) gets in the way of the problematic story which turns out to be a good thing as there’s no way to turn it off. The director is quoted on one of the extras saying something like “Either this movie works or it’s going to be a long, bad music video.” This tautology is clearly on display and interestingly, Tarsem Singh got his start directing fantastical music videos and TV commercials. Possibly to prevent the latter from occurring to the audience, Tarsem chose Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony for much of the soundtrack.

It’s about an injured stuntman in a hospital telling a story to a little girl which is fine, however, I generally don’t like movies with narration for the usual reasons cited by critics for liking the director’s cut of Blade Runner over the theatrical release. The story the stuntman tells is fraught with errors in fashioning a proper hero story namely, too many heroes with too many moral ambiguities. It’s a pleasure watching the girl actor, Catinca Untaru, bring the story within the story back to the child’s realm sort of knowing the stuntman is going to screw it up again with the bile from his misanthropic unrequited soul and broken body.

Well, hm. The more I write about it, the more I like it. 4/5 stars.

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