Wednesday, October 31, 2012

THE FALL (2006)

Directed By: Tarsem Singh Written By: Tarsem Singh, Dan Gilroy & Nico Soultanakis Based on The Screenplay for the film "Yo ho ho" by: Valery Petrov Cinematography By: Colin Watkinson Editor: Robert Duffy Cast: Lee Pace, Catinca Unteru, Justine Waddell At a Los Angeles hospital in the 1920s, Alexandria is a child recovering from a broken arm. She befriends Roy Walker, a movie stunt man with legs paralyzed after a fall. At her request, Roy tells her an elaborate story about six men of widely varied backgrounds who are on a quest to kill a corrupt provincial governor. Between chapters of the story, Roy inveigles Alexandria to scout the hospital's pharmacy for morphine. As Roy's fantastic tale nears its end, Death seems close at hand The film was shot in 28 countries for four years It starts off as a charming childlike fable but as the story goes on it gets darker and deals with more realistic themes and suddenly becomes surprisingly violent. A miscommunication between the casting agent and Catinca Untaru led her to believe that Lee Pace was a real-life paraplegic. Director Tarsem Singh found that this brought an added level of believability to their dialogue, so he decided to keep almost the entire cast and crew under the same impression. Singh had to speak to the actor playing Alexandria's father and explain that his role was smaller than it appeared, since the script implied that he played the role of the bandit (actually played by Pace) in the fantasy scenes. Apparently it was hard to keep up the lie - a makeup artist walked into a room to find Pace standing and almost passed out from shock. The movie doesn’t keep up with it’s visually arresting shots at times, but it is worth watching if only to see them. This is one of the best looking films. I have ever seen with beautiful candy like colors that seem to pop. A sad story overall with only a hint of happiness way above the directors last film. Singh shot the hospital scenes with Catinca Untaru in chronological order. As filming progressed over the course of six weeks, she grew taller and her English improved, like her character would have in real life. She also lost her two front baby teeth right before shooting began, so filming in sequence allowed for the continuity of the gap between her teeth to remain consistent. Tarsem is a director with a gift for visuals only he needs the right script or a collaborator to keep the material such as the story as tight as the visuals because even in this story some of the scenes are overacted or filled with hokey badly acted comedic scenes thankfully there aren’t too much. It fits in with the fable theme as once you step away from the film you will remember the beauty of the visuals, More then you will the story. It not only glides along like a fable, but as a classic action adventure story. Like an old movie serial and a desert epic combined. I would like to see Tarsem team up with Charlie Kaufman to make a film. That collaboration imagining it will melt your brain. Film Director’s Spike Jonze and David Fincher present this movie which is a great introduction. Two of the most visual filmmakers out there presenting this film as a way of showing how talented they think you are. Showing their belief in him and his work. Which helps as this is not the easiest sell in the world. IT’s challenging and middle of the road accessible. It’s special. This is a passion project that Tarsem funded himself through directing ad’s. It’s his first attempt at making a film since the Jennifer Lopez Starring THE CELL. This film is a beautiful ode to classic films of yesteryear from silent to Classic Hollywood films. Not as gothic as PAN’S LABRYNTH. It even has a wizard of oz type ending. Trust me that reveals nothing. It’s worth seeking out as a present to yourself. Tarem’s next film after this one has similar visuals and themes yet he manages to make each of them different and special. GRADE: B

1 comment:

  1. I love this film. It can be a little slow in the middle, and hard to pick up on what's going on, but it's still great. It plays really well on a second viewing. Tarsem's visuals have never been better, and he's never had a better script. The Cell was better than I expected, and Immortals was okay, but this movie is why Tarsem Singh should be a household name.

    I totally agree, combining his direction with a Charlie Kaufman script would be AMAZING!