The Fall (2006) Review

As a regular listener of the Fantasy Fiction podcast, it’s always nice to hear opinions and suggestions of people I never met, but who share interests and enthusiasms with yours truly. Enter a movie recommendation, which was suggested long ago by one Dominic, co-host/creator of the podcast: The Fall.

Short Version: See it, but only if you can really sit and absorb it. This isn’t something to watch next to chatty friends or with kids running around.

The Fall is a fantasy movie to be sure, which is what immediately got my attention. I had never heard of the film until then (I type my blogs via printing press in a cave), and though chronologically the episode mentioning The Fall was … months ago, at least … I only recently got a hold of it and, as of this post, finished watching it about thirty minutes ago. Needless to say, it’s fresh in my mind.

To put this movie in the fantasy genre would be most apropros, but it may not be what you think when the word “fantasy” comes to mind. We’re not talking gifted adolescents with forehead scars, magic spells or mythical creatures – common tropes for anything worth reading if you ask me. Nay, we’re talking more along the lines of The Cell (which is next on the list of supposedly artsy movies I’ll be viewing shortly) and Hero. We’re talking sweeping landscapes, powerful use of color (I really kept thinking about Hero for most of this) and a plot that has a little going on under the surface.

Keeping spoilers in mind, this is more of a “you should go see this and judge for yourself” rather than a “this is why I didn’t like it” type post. The plot involves a hospitalized man named Roy, bedridden on account of an accident that may have paralyzed him from the waist down, who tells a series of stories – Scheherazade style – to a little girl recovering from a broken arm. Bits and pieces of the real world plot are revealed in snaps between the fantasy plot, and there’s a little Wizard of Oz sense happening where some characters appear to be inspired by people in the hospital or in Roy’s life.

What makes this movie are the visuals, without a shadow of a doubt. Re: Hero (seriously, if you don’t know which one that is, check it out). But I gotta admit, there were a few moments that had me reaching for tissues.

Nah, I’m just foolin’. I used the collar of my t-shirt while pretending I have something stuck in my eye like a real man.

All in all, you should watch this movie if you enjoy:

  • dual-plots
  • stunning imagery
  • rag-tag teams made up of international heroes
  • memorable, distinct characters
  • stories that help you get over a break-up/loss
  • imaginative costumes, landscapes, locales and props

I found very little to criticize about this movie. It has a foreign taste to it, which to me is refreshing, because I’ve since lost patience for many Hollywood films. At times it might have been a little hard to follow, though – as written over at Rotten Tomatoes:

More visually elaborate than the fragmented story can sometimes support, The Fall walks the line between labor of love and filmmaker self-indulgence.

…and as such I’d guess that this one isn’t for everybody. It certainly was for me, though, apparently enough to go run and write a review about it.

Cheers, and happy writing, dear readers.

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