From the director of The Cell comes an imaginative tale of mythical heroes in The Fall, a visually beautiful but emotionally stagnant picture starring that dude from "Pushing Daisies."
Lee Pace, who plays the Pie Maker on "Pushing Daisies," plays Roy Walker in The Fall, a stuntman in 1920's Los Angeles who, after suffering a skull fracture, has been places in a hospital. There, he befriends a young girl (first-time actress Catinca Untaru) with a very active imagination. Between his shattered mind and her imagination, they develop a story of five heroes who wander a mythical landscape to save a princess and take down evil. However, the reality of Roy's situation affects the story, damaging the chances of a happy ending.
I'll admit that I was doing other things while watching The Fall, probably not the best move for an ever-evolving story with amazing visuals. Fans of the movie will be annoyed by this - and there are fans of the movie. In fact, rarely have I heard so much passion and anticipation for a movie that so few people have heard about, let alone seen. Anyway, despite my limited attention to the picture, I do have general indicators: even if I'm doing other things, the more interesting a movie, the more I'll be distracted into watching it. The Fall never fully engaged me for whatever reason.
Nevertheless, The Fall is an imaginative picture, mainly thanks to director Tarsem Singh. While I was not a huge fan of The Cell, Singh definitely has an eye for the odd and creative. His movies look like some kind of psychedelic painting, and it's pretty impressive. Beyond that, the screenplay, by Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis and Singh is pretty solid; though I was never fully engaged, I am a sucker for stories that start out lighthearted and devolve into something else entirely. The Fall remains harmless for most of its running time, but spirals into a dark, brooding and captivating picture near the end.
This has been one of the more contradictory movie reviews I've written in a while. I liked The Fall, but didn't love it; however, I'm not quite sure how much I liked it. Had I given it my undivided attention would I have liked it more? Perhaps. Regardless, the movie's worth seeing, even if it does have its flaws.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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