Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Movie Club: The Fall

In a hospital in Los Angeles, in the years of silent movies, a 6 year old girl meets a stunt man suffering a broken body and a broken heart. "Tell me a story," says the girl to the man and 'The Fall' is the tale he tells.

'The Fall' was released in the US at least a year ago but I missed it in the theaters. It is the second feature film of Indian born director Tarsem Singh. His first was 'The Cell,' a sci-fi psychological thriller that seems unfairly forgotten. I really liked it. Most of his credits are as a commercial director, and for years he travelled the world to find the most beautiful locations in order to sell cars, or dog food or whatever. Watching 'The Fall' it appears he piggybacked his own film along with him wherever he went. Watching the credits, you will read the names of film crews representing almost every continent, almost every corner of the globe. You will not read the names of any cgi artists. Their names were not omitted; there is no cgi in this film.

There is not a minute of the film that isn't filled with astonishing visual invention, not a minute that isn't perfectly delightful. While it can be said that the film as a whole doesn't add up to the sum of its individual parts, let it also be said that each individual part is greater than most film's entire sums.

It could be a masterpiece; we may never know for certain. I could be convinced its a profound exploration of the power of storytelling as a tool for redemption. I could be convinced it was all just a 2 hour commercial for perfume. In either case, I recommend seeing it, if for no other reason than the fact that it exists.

And because... well... look!

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