The Fall (2006)
Rated – R
Directed by Tarsem Singh
Starring: Lee Pace, Justine Waddell, Daniel Caltagirone, Leo Bill
The Fall is a beautiful looking film, with so much eye candy to make your head spin silly. The use of color, the landscapes, costumes, and special effects really separates this film from other fantasies. It’s similar to The Princess Bride in its storytelling and fairy tale style, though The Fall is meant for mature audiences. My one friend compared it to Pan’s Labyrinth because of its adult fantasy aspect, though it’s not as dark as Guillermo del Toro’s chilling story. But like both fantasy films, The Fall is an adventure of great imagination, fun, and still keeps its serious tone intact.
The story is based on the 1981 Bulgarian film, Yo Ho Ho, where an actor, Roy, is in the hospital with a broken leg and befriends a little girl, Alexandria, who is also staying at the hospital. He begins to tell her a story that instantly intrigues her, but his intentions lie deeper than to just to entertain. He wants the girl to steal medication for his suicide, but as his friendship with her strengthens, the story he’s telling changes to express his thoughts.
That’s the reality part of the story, which is very dramatic in its 1915 Los Angeles setting. But the fantasy part, which is the story that Roy’s telling, is a luscious journey of revenge from five characters who all have the same agenda to kill the evil Govenor Odious. The characters in the story are portrayed by people who Alexandria knows in real like, like the way Dorothy transferred the image of her family to the Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
Some parts are silly, both in the reality and fantasy portions, but they all seem to blend into one whole story arc of importance. Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) does a decent job at narrating and being the movie’s lead. The rest of the actors are shown as a collective group of one, traveling together and fighting until the very end.
The Fall seems like a tribute to actors at the beginning of filmmaking who risk their lives to get an action sequence right. The black and white montage at the conclusion of the movie is cut together quite effectively, shocking the audience as much as some of the stunning special effects used throughout the film. Overall, this is a fun movie that I think almost everyone will enjoy.