I open with a video-clip rather than words because this movie leaves one too speechless for any formal introduction.
As much as I don’t want to compare this movie to any other movie, I will do so [at my soul’s expense] to let you know what “sort of” movie I’m talking about. The Fall, the movie I fell in love with sometime in late 2010 and continue to fall in love with every time I see even a snippet of it. It’s …(and here’s what’s difficult for me to say) kind of like Pan’s Labyrinth in its contextual genre, but without the murkiness of it. Its other ingredients could include (for those of you more obscurely inclined) a bit of La Cité des Enfants Perdus, a film I will surely write about in the future, and maybe—literary-wise, just maybe a tiny bit of Lolita. This latter comparison is a far stretch and it might sound like an insult to The Fall since, rest assured, there is no pedophilia in this film, but there is a certain filial loving affinity that will make you think of it, at least for just a second. When you see it, you will understand.
But I digress for none of these external sources can embody what The Fall is like. You have to see it to understand that it flies more than it fits into any one film genre. This particular movie excels in beauty and poignancy, it’s emotionally powerful, visually breathtaking, and it all comes together in a magical way because when you watch the director (Tarsem) talk about the movie and how it was shot in over 24 countries in the span of 4 months, you have think he’s crazy or a genius, or both. You can actually see the essence of his eclecticism here.
Now, if you’re thinking this might again be one of those weird and bizarre movies I tend to like, it’s not. Well, it is, but I assure you, you will like it too, and I’ll explain why. I chose to write about this movie because not only is it beautifully shot but it also has the most amazing two-protagonist combination I’ve seen in a while. Lee Pace, the bed-ridden storyteller, and Catinca Untaru aren’t any less than magnificent on screen. As I watched the movie, I fell madly in love with both characters and their extraordinary acting. This powerful connection usually comes from the viewer feeling like he or she relates strongly to the character or aspires to be like the character in action, and this was my case with Catinca’s character as Alexandria. I fell in love with her because I saw my past self in her—a chubby foreign kid who liked to do weird stuff like throwing oranges at the priest and imagine frightening things whose fright never overcame curiosity. I felt the infinity of her imagination in my childhood’s memories.
And if you’ve ever been a child, you know childhood is weird. Kids are nuts—in the most beautiful, eccentric, limitless and shameless way. Her performance on screen just oozes that type of purity so much so that you can’t help but believe every inch of her genuine moves and lines.
Lee Pace, not falling behind, is a strikingly mesmerizing young actor who depicts to perfection the various broken mental stages he needs to portray. Without any more adoration, these two are a match made in heaven.
This is why I chose to write about this film—it’s because we can all relate to the weirdness of being a child and to the hopeless feeling of being broken, physically or mentally.
I recommend this for watching, for analyzing, for loving, and for observing.
“You always stop at the same part, when it’s very beautiful. And interesting.” -Alexandria