At the beginning of the year I reviewed three films that were medium, but worth seeing, because they contained fantastic performances. “The Fall” is also medium yet worth seeing, but for the director’s extraordinary visual abilities, not for an actor's amazing performance. (Having said that, there is a very good performance by child actress Catinca Untaru.)
The director, Tarsem Singh, makes his living directing ads and videos but has done two features. “The Fall”, his second feature, was shot between other work, during a period of several years. He searched all over the world for places and structures that were visually arresting but not recognizable to the general audience. He succeeded. Supposedly there are no computer generated shots in the film although there must have been some practical effects.
The plot concerns a Hollywood stuntman from the 1920s who’s in a hospital with badly damaged legs because of a fall. He can’t get out of bed. He tells a story to a little girl who is in the same hospital with a broken arm, also from a fall, and who runs through the building, exploring it. The girl visualizes the story as he tells it and these are the amazing images that we see, including her wonderful confusion of “Indians” and “Indians”.
The story has some dark twists and turns but finally can’t equal the visuals. Still, they are enough.