The Fall is a magnificent piece of visual filmmaking that everyone needs to see, but underneath its just a string of pretty pictures held together by an overlong uneventful tale with colorful yet forgettable characters.
A bedridden patient (Lee Pace) captivates a hospitalized girl (Catinca Untaru) with a fantastic tale involving heroes, mystics and villains on a desert island.
It’ easy to fall in love with The Fall.
The production design is detailed and convincing, breathing life to both the time period of the characters’ real world and fantasy.
The cinematography is unforgettable and immersive, thanks to well composed and perfectly angled shots that show the architecture, symmetry, color and landscape of its numerous locations.
The film was made in four years shot in twenty different countries. Notable locations include Villa Adriana (Tivoli, Italy), Sossusvlei (Namib Desert, Namibia), Chand Baori (Abhaneri, Rajasthan India), Tegallalang Rice Terrace (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia) and Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey). This fact alone merits The Fall a spot in 100 films you must watch before you die because there would be nothing else like it, not even close.
It’s obvious that the director has a clear vision for the film, but it seems that he’s so dedicated that he forgot to write a functional story for it.
The narrative is basically an overlong fragmented plot of a random guy trying to convince a random young girl to steal drugs by charming her with a story (think Princess Bride but with a subplot).
The film jumps in and out of its magical world, which is really just an excuse for the film to show off its spectacular visuals. For a story steeped in magical realism, this world is devoid of any engaging suspense or thrill.
Lee Pace manages to make Roy likeable enough to get sympathy from viewers. The unrehearsed performance of Catinca Untaru provides a believable character. Unfortunately their characters along with the rest of the cast are just caricatures.
In the end, the film squeezes in a contrived sad ending for both its real and imagined worlds.
The Fall will make you fall in love at first sight, but its ultimately an empty and pointless film. On the other hand, it will also give a lasting impression.
My Rating: 5/10