May 27, 2008 by  

The Fall

The Fall

A scene from Tarsem Singh's "The Fall," his first film as a screenwriter.

Starring: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru, Justine Waddell
Directed by: Tarsem Singh (“The Cell”)
Written by: Tarsem Singh (debut)

Sometimes it’s hard not to like a movie that is so eye-catching and beautiful but so empty in all other filmmaking aspects. So was the case for director Tarsem Singh’s first film “The Cell” in 2000. Eight years later, he returns to redeem himself and his novice errors with “The Fall,” a touching, well-acted fantasy saturated with Singh’s style.

Set in a hospital in 1920’s Los Angeles, “The Fall” is a story within a story told by Roy Walker (Lee Pace), a bed-ridden stuntman who befriends a little girl named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) by telling her a tall tale about five mythical heroes who go on a journey to kill an evil ruler named Governor Odieus (Daniel Caltagirone). The only thing Roy asks in return for his storytelling is for Alexandria to steal pills for him so that he may commit suicide.

Although “The Fall” is still missing some key elements in the story within, the scenes where actors Pace and first-time actress Untaru interact are effortless and rewarding. Sure, Singh’s vision still favors style over substance, but when film imitates art it is extremely engaging.

Grade: B

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