Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Fall (2006)
Even with David Fincher and Spike Jonze names attached to this movie, it didn't get as much recognition as I thought it deserved. There are so many wondrous and amazing things in this film that I don't even know where to start. And you know? They are real. There were no computer effects used at all in this film. Every color, every location, every bizarrely placed step and labyrinth, all exist somewhere in the 28 countries in which Tarsem filmed the movie. I read nothing about this movie before I watched it because something told me that there was something there and I wanted to be a part of it in my imagination before the reality of it was shown to me, and yet the reality was just as breathtaking.
Roy alters the story from cues he picks up from Alexandria as the tale moves along and the two become closer. Until one day when Alexandria comes to Roy for another portion of the tale and finds him upset after a visit from a woman and two men whom Alexandria knows right away are important, famous men. Roy's girlfriend has just left him for a famous actor who is wealthy and not possibly paralyzed for the rest of his life.
The story begins to take a different turn though it is very subtle as Roy plummets into thoughts of suicide and Alexandria is swept away in the make-believe and in his real life descent.
Catinca Untaru is brilliant. I cannot say enough about her. She is beautiful, talented, and has some air about her that sweeps the audience along with her into the fantasy. If you don't break down in tears in the last half hour of the movie right along with her then you have a heart of stone!
Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies,Wonderfalls) does an excellent job as well. He alternates back and forth between the bed-ridden patient and the dashing, heroic Blue Bandit with such believability that sometimes I forgot it was the same person.
But where the magic comes from is in the locations. Tarsem used no CGI, no special effects in creating the scenary. From the Infinite Staircase to the Blue City, every location is a real place. Sand dunes, The Labyrinth of Dispair, even the mundane hospital were all real, all there, in every foreign and beautiful place the world possesses. The Blue City of Jodhpur; The observatory that was the Labyrinth; even The Infinite Staircase is real, a reservoir in India considered cheap and tacky looking by the locals. They must be seen to be believed. Right along with Alexandria, I laughed and cried and cannot think of another movie that moved me in such a way as this one. It is everything from every childish fantasy to every grown-up heartache rolled into one movie.