Monday, December 15, 2008
I've been into movies a lot more than usual lately. This caught my eye at the local video store, and I'm glad it did. I'm just sorry I missed it at the theater.
The Fall is visually stunning - see it on good equipment - but it is the story and characters that carry the movie. The trailer will give you some idea of the film, but it must be seen in its entirety to really appreciate the effect of this magnificently shot work of art.
The story is relatively straightforward: A silent movie era Hollwood stuntman named Roy (played by Lee Pace) is in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down with injuries sustained during a failed stunt (shown in a glorious black-and-white prologue.) Trouble ever comes with company, and he has also lost his lover. He plans suicide, but needs the help of an inquisitive little girl named Alexandria (wonderfully played by Catinca Untaru), to whom he tells stories of adventurers on a quest in order to manipulate her into helping him to commit suicide.
These stories are played out in the imagination of young Alexandria, and her imagination is the source of the stunning visuals, which were shot in 20 locations. The stories change during the interplay between Pace and Untaru, making for some light moments in an otherwise serious film, but make no mistake: the story is Roy's, even if it is playing out in the imagination of young Alexandria, and Roy is depressed.
The characters in the stories represent real-life people at the hospital, like the characters in the Wizard of Oz represented real people in Dorothy's life, but this is most definitely not a movie for children.
The soundtrack is outstanding. The main title is from Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, II. Allegretto, and is performed admirably, and the music written for the movie was spot on, and performed very well indeed. The soundtrack seems to be hard to come by, though. More's the pity.
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