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The Fall

4.8 30
Director: Tarsem Singh

Cast: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justine Waddell


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Visually minded filmmaker Tarsem Singh returns to the director's chair for the first time since The Cell (2000) with this psychologically complex tale of a hospitalized paraplegic with a curious knack for storytelling. Unable to free himself from his sterile confines, the immobile patient's deepest fears


Visually minded filmmaker Tarsem Singh returns to the director's chair for the first time since The Cell (2000) with this psychologically complex tale of a hospitalized paraplegic with a curious knack for storytelling. Unable to free himself from his sterile confines, the immobile patient's deepest fears form the basis of a dark story that he shares with his young companion -- a little girl who visits his room as she recovers from a nasty fall. As the eerie tale unfolds, reality and fantasy gradually merge to form a strange world in which anything is possible.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A majestic tale of heroism and revenge; a soulful story of heartbreak and friendship; and a heartfelt love letter to the nameless, thankless souls who risk their lives to make cinema truly spectacular, Tarsem Singh's long-awaited follow-up to The Cell manages to be many things at once, while never feeling as if it's overreaching its scope. It's an impressive feat to create a film that is both lavishly grandiose and deeply intimate, and The Fall is not only both of these things, but also unusually accessible for such an ambitious, visionary film. Phrases like "visually spectacular" and words such as "mesmerizing," "beautiful," and "breathtaking" are bound to come up time and again in reviews of The Fall, and for good reason. Singh has crafted a masterfully visual film, and the fact that it was shot entirely on location proves that modern filmmakers don't necessarily need an army of animators to create truly original and awe-inspiring images. Still, whereas a lesser storyteller may make the fatal misstep of over-complicating things in an attempt to intermingle the fantastic with the mundane, Singh allows his stories to unfold in a straightforward, even simplistic manner until the gradual convergence of reality and fantasy dictate that things get a bit heady. But even then, The Fall is still fun, largely favoring the whimsy of something like The Adventures of Baron Munchausen over the grimness of the similarly structured Pan's Labyrinth -- despite the fact that it deals with some decidedly grown-up issues. In fact, it's a bit inexplicable why the MPAA would stick The Fall with an R rating, given all of the violent studio fare that regularly slides by with a PG-13 these days. Most parents would likely feel comfortable watching this film with their adolescents: there's very little violence (and what there is feels more poetic than brutal or realistic), no profanity, and no nudity. In short, there's nothing in The Fall that goes beyond the boundaries of your typical primetime police procedural (the most disturbing single image in The Fall is even glimpsed in the film's Green Band trailer). Children may actually benefit from talking about the themes presented here with an adult should they become curious about the unusual relationship between the suicidal-stunt man protagonist of the primary narrative and his curious young friend. The story is simple: little Alexandria is in the hospital with a broken arm when she meets dejected fellow patient Roy Walker -- a movie stuntman who has been injured while attempting to perform a feat to impress the woman he loves. When the object of his affections runs off with the leading man from the film, Roy decides that he would rather commit suicide than spend the rest of his days broken and alone. But since he can't get up from his bed to steal enough morphine for an overdose, he charms the young girl with stories of great adventure so she will steal him the pills he needs to accomplish his grim mission. The tales Roy weaves are imaginative, sweeping, and grandiose -- the kind of yarns parents imagine spinning for their own children as they tuck them in and send them off to dreamland. The main fantasy story involves five mythical adventurers who have sworn revenge on the villainous Governor Odious. The manner in which Singh weaves together reality and fantasy is captivating, recalling such screen classics as The Wizard of Oz (and, of course, 1981's Yo-Ho-Ho -- the film that inspired The Fall) in the way that the peripheral characters surrounding Roy and Alexandria all have fictional counterparts in Roy's tall tales -- their personalities vividly reflected in the characteristics of their fantastical doppelgangers. Still, as entertaining as the playfully surreal fantasy sequences are, they wouldn't work if the scenes in the hospital between Roy and Alexandria weren't believable. Thankfully for the audience, they are. Seeing the trailer for The Fall, one might begin to fear it to be a beautiful but pretentious mess that's dazzling to behold but hollow at the center. Seeing the actual film, it's obvious from the opening scenes that this couldn't be further from the truth, because The Fall has genuine heart. The characters in the reality-based scenes are endearing and sympathetic, and those in the fantasy-based scenes are colorful and captivating -- even Christian fundamentalists are likely to warm to gentle Charles Darwin as he cooks up plans with his simian sidekick and searches tirelessly for the most elusive butterfly on the planet. The friendship between young Alexandria and embittered Roy is made believable thanks to wonderful performances from Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace and screen newcomer Catinca Untaru. Untaru in particular is incredibly naturalistic in her first screen appearance. Wide-eyed and full of wonder, yet not so naïve that she fails to grasp the gravity of the truth when the fairy tale turns grim, Untaru is the heart of The Fall, and that heart is radiant in its purity. Thankfully she's got a deeply talented co-star to play off of as well, as Pace comes off as something of a mix between Edward Norton and Christian Bale in terms of both looks and screen presence. The remaining members of the cast are also memorable, even if their characters don't have quite as much depth. It's obvious watching The Fall that the film was a labor of love for Singh, and it's a true shame that Roadside Attractions couldn't cook up a decent marketing strategy for the film, because it truly deserves to find a wider audience. Still, that indescribable joy of finding buried treasure in a sea of forgotten films is what makes being a movie lover worthwhile when you're feeling as if there's nothing new under the sun. And even if The Fall is drowned out at the summer box office by films that are bigger, louder, and far less interesting, it's bound to find a more appreciative audience in the years and decades to come.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Featurettes; Commentaries with filmmakers and cast

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lee Pace Roy Walker
Catinca Untaru Alexandria
Justine Waddell Nurse Evelyn/Princess Evelyn
Robin Smith Luigi/One-Legged Actor
Julian Bleach Mystic/Orange Picker
Jeetu Verma Indian/Orange Picker
Leo Bill Charles Darwin/Orderly
Marcus Wesley Otta Benga/Ice Delivery Man
Kim Uylenbroek Doctor/Alexander the Great
Andrew Roussouw Mr. Sabatini
Michael Huff Dr. Whitaker
Grant Brett Swanby Father Augustine
Emil Hostina Alexandria's Father/Bandit
Ayesha Verman Indian's Bride
Ketut Rina Chief Mystic
Nicholas Soultanakis Horace
Jon Kamen Morty
Karen Haacke Alice
Aiden Lithgow Alexander's Messenger
Sean Gilder Walt Purdy
Ronald France Otto
Camilla Waldman Crying Woman
Elvira Deactu Alexandria's Mother
Emma Johnston Alexandria's Sister
Daniel Caltagirone Sinclair/Governor Odious

Technical Credits
Tarsem Singh Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ged Clarke Production Designer
Robert Duffy Editor
Dan Gilroy Screenwriter
Vincent Guillon Sound/Sound Designer
Gerard Hardy Sound/Sound Designer
Lisa Hart Art Director
Dan Hubbard Casting
Eiko Ishioka Costumes/Costume Designer
Lionel Kopp Co-producer
Nam Lau Art Director
Krishna Levy Score Composer
Miguel Peregrin Art Director
Josh Robertson Asst. Director
Sonal Sawant Art Director
Arjit Singh Executive Producer
Cynthia Sleiter Art Director
Nico Soutanakis Co-producer,Screenwriter
Tommy Turtle Executive Producer
Ernesto Molina y Vedia Art Director
Colin Watkinson Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Fall
1. Chapter 1 [2:47]
2. Chapter 2 [3:00]
3. Chapter 3 [4:09]
4. Chapter 4 [3:48]
5. Chapter 5 [4:29]
6. Chapter 6 [5:34]
7. Chapter 7 [4:56]
8. Chapter 8 [5:41]
9. Chapter 9 [3:43]
10. Chapter 10 [3:41]
11. Chapter 11 [5:26]
12. Chapter 12 [4:37]
13. Chapter 13 [5:37]
14. Chapter 14 [3:53]
15. Chapter 15 [3:21]
16. Chapter 16 [5:16]
17. Chapter 17 [5:34]
18. Chapter 18 [4:48]
19. Chapter 19 [5:40]
20. Chapter 20 [2:44]
21. Chapter 21 [2:43]
22. Chapter 22 [1:46]
23. Chapter 23 [3:07]
24. Chapter 24 [3:34]
25. Chapter 25 [3:42]
26. Chapter 26 [1:44]
27. Chapter 27 [2:52]
28. Chapter 28 [2:45]


Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Alfeetoe More than 1 year ago
Let's face it, the Cell, the previous film by one-named director Tarsem, was a travesty. But after seeing the Fall, one could argue that it was the studio influence that ruined the J-lo centric escapade. The Fall, by comparison, is the Salvador Dali to the Cell's Bob Ross. That is to say, the Fall is amazing. Completely, undeniably amazing. If I were to completly ignore the fact that all the locations in the film were ACTUAL locations, it would STILL be amazing. Lee Pace, of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies fame, is great as the down and out Roy. But the real star is little miss Cantinca Untaru. She is, bar none, the cutest, most convincing, and hauntingly graceful child actor I have even seen. Yeah, you heard me: Dakota Fanning and Abigail Breslin are no talent hacks in comparison. The sets, the costumes, the choreography, the art direction...it's all stunning. But the best part is that the story is not convoluted or hefty, though some of the plot points are lost in Alexandria's imaginative translation. The real-world/fantasy parallels are pulled straight from the Wizard of Oz, but in an almost completely finale-centric way. I could go on and on, but I will leave you with this: buy this movie and treasure it forever, because it is very much the timeless fairy tale of old, but with a vibrant and imaginative facelift.
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Melliemay More than 1 year ago
The plot of this movie is rather simplistic. No psychological twist that punches your brain, no heart pounding fractures to your ribcage suspense. It doesn't need that. The delivery of the movie will gratify your brain with copious gifts of eye candy; enough to fill all the sweet pockets of your brain, even the ones you didn't know you had. A previous review mentions Dali, which is spot on. Imagine Dali's "Narcissus" color canvas on steroids, oozing out of your screen to engulf you in a fantasy world seen through the eyes of a little girl. Contrasted perfectly color-wise is the banal (though beautiful of its own accord) scenes of the rehab center where the two main characters stay. The relationship that transpires between Lee Pace's Roy and Catinca Untaru's Alexandria is a paragon of beauty and compulsion. During a scene where Roy and Alexandria exchange some youthful banter, Roy asks, "Are you trying to save my soul?" This becomes the quintessence of their relationship over the movie, framing Alexandria as the heroine. She achieves this status through her decorous acts of incorrupt mannerisms, yet her status remains unbeknownst to her. The man that Roy encompasses grasps one who is on an edge loitering between a human who is confident and broken; both consumed by his tragedy. The story that results from the crossroads of Roy and Alexandria is that of a weathered man seen through an innocent eye. I have told many of my friends to watch this movie, lent out my copy, to which all returned with agreeable commentary. I try to tell people not to watch the previews as I feel it tarnishes some of the stun of the visual aspects. Regardless, I viewed the previews multiple times before I watched it and was still bewildered. I LOVE this movie!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Lee Pace, the man we have all come to know and love as 'Pushing Daisies' Ned the Piemaker, outdoes himself in a role completely different from his usual. Pace proves himself one of the finest and most underrated new actors of our day. Catinca is a gem, and delivers one of the finest child performances in recent memory, but most of all applause goes to the cinematography. With little to no reliance on CGI, Tarsem Singh takes the viewer to some of the most breathtaking spots on the planet, places you only thought existed in novels. A visual masterpiece for those of us who may have grown up physically, but still imagine and dream like children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a stunning movie! Everything about this film is beautiful, from the costumes, to the locations and even Lee Pace! The breakout star here is darling little Catinca. Her interactions with Lee are amazing! Her abilities are to be envied by all child actors. Tarsem has created a masterpiece here, a film filled with passion, adventure and above all, human connection. I absolutely loved this film.
KB-90 More than 1 year ago
This movie is unlike any I have ever seen. The closest comparisons I have are Pan's Labyrinth and Big Fish... combined. The artistic and fantasy feel of Pan's Labyrinth, but the more lighthearted [Pan's is pretty dark!] and artistic nature of Big Fish. Really an incredible movie, I was blown away by it's beautiful artistic nature and a really great story. This movie took 4 years to shoot! I think it was definitely worth the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film has got to be one of, if not the most amazing and visually stunning pieces in the modern cinema that I have ever seen. Not only is the story heart-felt, exciting and engaging, but the locations where the film was shot were absolutely stunning and proves that you do not need fancy CGI to make a good film. The way in which the story is told by switching back and forth from the fantasy and the reality so effortlessly and humorously that it makes the film that much better. With the acting talents of Lee Pace and Catinca Untaru at the helm of the story, Tarsem delivers an outstanding film.
Juice More than 1 year ago
Very very impressive. The acting(especially from the two main characters) is incredible, the visuals are amazing(very limited CG, all sets are actual places which will astonish you to no end), the comedy is weaved in seemlesssly, but above all else the story is crazy and beautiful. I mean that in the best way. Think a darker(storywise) version of The Princess Bride set to bursting colors, and meshed with 1920's reality. Awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One person affecting another in a relationship of opposites is the basic premise of the "The Fall." The visuals are stunning, but don't overwhelm the story because they are used to depict the story going on in the mind of the storyteller and little girl. The joy of the story's visuals is that they represent a disconnect between what the storyteller is saying and what the girl understands. We also see the real people and images that populate the fictional landscape of the girl's mind. As the story evolves, the fictional story becomes more and more disrupted by what is going on in the real world and the emotions of the two main characters. Even though this movie has an R rating, under parental supervision, this can be seen by children as young as 10 or 12 depending on their maturity level. Charles Darwin as a member of the fictional hero's band is one of the most original ideas.