Sat 31 May 2008
This is far better than taking a gnome with you.
2008 GOLDEN MUG WINNER:
Best Cinematography (Colin Watkinson)
Best Art Direction (Ged Clarke (Production Design), Riccardo Pugliese & Cynthia Sleiter (Set Decoration))
Best Costume Design (Eiko Ishioka)
2008 GOLDEN MUG NOMINEE:
Best Film Editing (Robert Duffy)
I’ve fallen, and I want you to fall too. It’s worth it, trust me, to spend $10 to watch “The Fall” in theaters. Now hear me out, and continue reading to see why.
In a 1915 Los Angeles hospital an unlikely friendship arises between a young girl, Alexandria, and a silent movie actor, Roy Walker. Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) has broken her arm working the orange groves, roaming the hospital and getting into as much trouble as you would expect for a five-year-old girl. She finds Roy, played by Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), languishing in his sick bed, unable to walk due his injuries both from a movie stunt gone wrong and a broken heart. Roy captivates her with his stories and in so doing convinces her to steal morphine pills for him.
Roy blurs reality and fiction in his epic tale of love and revenge. Five bandits – the Slave, the Indian, the Explosive Expert, Charles Darwin and the Black Bandit – each have their reasons for hating Governor Odious and wanting to see his end. On their journey to destroy Odious, the Black Bandit gets caught up in a love triangle similar to the one that has driven Roy’s suicidal tendencies.
As Roy’s depression spirals downward the story is dragged along, held aloft only by Alexandria’s desperate desire to keep both the Black Bandit and Roy alive. She even interjects herself into the story as the Black Bandit’s daughter in order to save his life.
Lee Pace’s narrative voice is captivating, leaving you completely engrossed in the story until jarred back to reality, either by Alexandria’s interjections or Roy’s playful halting. The banter between Roy and Alexandria within the narrative of the story is completely endearing, making it impossible for me not to keep a smile from my face.
Visually, this movie is everything you have come to expect from director Tarsem Singh, shot amazingly well on location in India and South Africa. With stunning long shots dwarfing the strong characters, melting Salvador Dali landscapes brought to life, and cities turned into M.C. Escher paintings, the setting is a fabulous reflection of the characters’ feelings and almost brought me to tears with their beauty. Looking back, almost every shot of the film would make an amazing poster that I would love to have on my wall.
The drab, almost colorless, costumes of the hospital intensify the costumes of the bandit’s story. Sister Evelyn’s dresses change to reflect the tone of the story and the Black Bandit’s feelings towards her. I especially love Governor Odious’s growling, faceless, guard costumes which use medieval textures and futuristic lines to create total fantasy. And may I say that the Black Bandit is especially hot, at no point did I see Ned from Pushing Daisies – only the Black Bandit – and much of that was due to the lines of the costume in juxtaposition to Pace’s rippling muscles (and his haunting eyes).
The story is action packed, romantic, heartbreaking, and progresses to the perfect ending. The entire cast delivers solid performances with first time actress Catinca Untaru as a stand out. Camera direction and editing seamlessly blend visuals from over 18 countries. For these reasons, and the total enjoyment gained, I whole heartedly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone and happily give “The Fall” my first 5 out of 5 this year.