Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Fall (2006) R - 4 Stars

I knew from the first time I saw the image on the DVD box, I wanted to see it. The movie lives up to it's cover, jammed packed full of fantasy and visual stimulation. You could almost turn the sound off to watch the film and still obtain the journey. The cinematography is so breathtaking, I pushed the movie up from 3½ Stars to 4 for the stunning visuals alone. It's not your typical family fantasy and given it's "R" rating due to it's content of drug abuse. Parents should decide in sharing with smaller children. The little known cast does an outstanding job blending in the perfect stew of emotional and diverse illusion.

The story is of a little girl who has a broken arm after falling and now inhabits a very unusual 1920's hospital, in the Los Angeles area, as she recovers. I absolutely love Catinca Untaru as Alexandria and her tiny accent wonderfully rounds out the innocence of her character. Traumatized from her childhood, she befriends a patient, Roy a paraplegic, who failed at suicide. But in his morphine stage, he becomes a fabulously creative story teller to help them both pass time. The two develop a close bond where Alexandria will do almost anything Roy requests to keep his stories alive, like sneaking into the dispensary to obtain more morphine. But there's a fine line between reality and fantasy that are turning Roy's stories into Alexandria's nightmares.

Alexandria, (Catinca Untaru), is a curious girl recovering from a broken arm that has her in a full body cast. She suffered the injury from picking oranges on her families ranch. Since recovery is slow, Alexandria has been at the hospital for a while and most have become to know her name. She meets Roy Walker, (Lee Pace), who's a paraplegic stuntman recovering from his attempting suicide over the death of his girlfriend. Desperate and feeling story for himself, he greatly enjoys the company of Alexandria and begins a epic storytelling adventure for her that mixes from their real lives into fantasy. Their fantasy warriors include (Jeetu Verma), the Indian, Charles Darwin, (Leo Bill), the Orderly, (Julian Bleach), the Mystic, Sinclair, (Daniel Caltagirone) as Governor Odious, Otta Benga, (Marcus Wesley), the ice delivery man, the doctor (Kim Uylenbroek), as Alexander the Great, Luigi, (Robin Smith), the one legged man, nurse Evelyn, (Justine Waddell) as Princess Evelyn, (Ketut Rina) as the Chief Mystic and (Emil Hostina) as the Bandit. Roy's imagination grows as does his self pity while he convinces Alexandria to find more morphine to ease his pain before he will carry on with his tale.

Awards include:
2008 - Austin Film Critics - Best Cinematography
2007 - Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival - Best Film

Absolute Entertainment, Googly Films, Radical Media
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writers: Nico Soultanakis, Tarsem Singh, Nico Soutanakis
Producer: Tarsem Singh
I viewed 12/10

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