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The Fall (DVD)

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Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy / To Be Announced / DVD released 2008-11-24 at Momentum / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      13.11.2013 23:52
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      A must see for fans of Del Toro and dark fantasy

      Some times it amazes me how great films can get so overlooked. Films which not only challenge their audience but at the same time take them on a journey of lush visuals and fantastic storytelling, as the director challenge themselves to give their audience something which they haven't seen before. I guess in a way the same question could also go a long way in explaining why we continue to get sequels to the Scary Movie franchise being churned out on an almost yearly basis. "The Fall" is certainly one of these movies which sorely deserved to reach a larger audience than it did, upon it's initial release, especially seeing how it pretty much skipped a cinematic release, suddenly turning up on DVD it would seem , making it only more of a shame, especially seeing how it is certainly a film which deserves to reach a large audience, were now instead it seems to have been left to find it's own audience, which if there is any justice it will.

      "The Fall" follows the story of Roy (Lee Pace) an injured stuntman, who forms a friendship with the eternally curious young girl Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), who herself is recovering from a broken arm, as Roy tells her a story of five mystical hero's and their quest to kill the oppressive governor Odious (Daniel Caltagirone). Though as the story continues the lines between reality and fantasy begin to become all the more blurred.

      Storywise it's safe to say that this film falls somewhere between the adult fairy tales of Guillermo del Toro and Caro & Jeunet, especially seeing how it contains none of the real world horrors , which are fused into the stories of del Toro's work, while at the same time it doesn't slip into the more obvious surreal world of Caro & Jeunet whose films such as "The City of lost Children" are probably best known for this style of storytelling, instead "The Fall" sits somewhere between the two styles, especially seeing how Singh is keen to keep the two worlds he shows throughout separate, often having the bandit speaking directly at the screen as Roy, when he chooses to take us out of the world of his story. Meanwhile Roy's tale of the masked bandit and his mismatched group, is really brought to life by the imagination of Alexandria, who inserts people she see's around her into the roles of the various characters, making it fun to try and place who each of the characters are in the real world, as she takes the descriptions Roy gives her, applying them to the people she see's walking around the hospital, even using the x-ray technician, as the basis for how the Armour clad henchmen of governor Odious look, while characters like the mystic are less obvious as to who they might be in the real world, with Singh only giving us the most subtle of clues as to their identity.

      Right from the start of this film though it is clear that you are watching something special, as Singh skilfully combines slowed down black and white imagery, with his skilful use of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, II. Allegretto" which here becomes more of a title piece to the film and certainly put it on a par with Clint Mansell's "Summer Overture" which was most memorably used in "Requiem for a Dream". The score by Krishna Levy is the perfect accompaniment to the images on screen, not only helping to set the scene, but in some cases helping to emphasise the power of the imagery being shown to us and seems to mis-step though out, even if this sole Beethoven piece seems to dominate over the other pieces of music used thought.

      Pace is on fantastic form here, moving seamlessly from the role of Roy to that of the masked bandit and even though we know that Alexandria is using him as the base for the bandit, it never feels as if you're just watching Roy, dressed as a bandit, but rather watching Pace as a completely separate character. However as the film progresses and the lines between these two worlds begin to blur, we start seeing more and more of Roy appearing in the character of the bandit, such as his sudden addiction to morphine pills, aswell as the various touches which Alexandria adds herself to the point, were she appears as a character herself, taking on the role of the bandit's daughter. Still as Roy becomes more suicidal his story becomes all the more darker, while certainly not going as dark as Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" which also featured an equally sudden dark turn, which might not sit well with some viewers, but it is clear that when this appears, that Roy is simply trying to break the connection which he shares with Alexandria. However it does also form some of the more gut wrenching moments of the film, as Singh takes the hatchett to his list of characters.

      I suppose the main downside for myself is with the character of Alexandria, who it is truly is Romanian, but her broken English meant that it felt like half the time she was simply improvising her dialogue and really relies often on Roy, to translate to the rest of us what she actually saying. Still her cutesy performance never reaches the level of being overly saturnine sweet, thanks largely to Singh never allowing the camera to focus for to long on her, without tingeing the scene with some element of darkness, which appears to surround her outside of the safety of Roy's hospital bed, such as the hypochondriac patient, who Roy shares a hospital ward with, while further driving home the idea of this film being a grown up fairy tale.Singh who is probably best remembered for "The Cell", another equally underrated classic, which might have been more popular had it not featured Jennifer Lopez, but still managed to remain highly memorable, thanks to it's incredible nightmarish imagery, as he took us inside the mind of a serial killer. Thankfully the six year gap since then seems to have not caused him to tone down his mindblowing imagery any less, in fact it seems to only have given him more time in which to think up more breath taking imagery and by signing up fellow visionary film makers David Fincher & Spike Jonze who both signed as Executive producers (Singh would later provide second unit work for Fincher on "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), he has only expanded his canvas and certainly makes the most of it, seeing how the film was shot in 18 different countries, resulting in a film which is nothing short of breath taking and without a hint of CGI to be found, proving to even the most jaded amongst us, that modern film making can still be exciting and interesting, without losing its a accessibility to a mainstream audience, which we have seen over the years happening with a number of equally great foreign films, only for the language barrier to eliminate the majority of their potential audience.

      I can only hope that the wait isn't so long for Singh (Or Tarsem as he's now started calling himself) to release his next film, as if his current film making résumé is anything to go off, he could certainly be a director worth watching and I can only hope that his future output remains as exciting and interesting as what we have seen so far.

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      14.07.2011 18:30
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      Stylish drama with fantasy elements

      It is very rare that I end up watching a film I know absolutely nothing about but that is what happened with this film. The DVD came through from LoveFilm and I didn't even remember putting it on my rental list. With nothing better to do one rainy evening I thought I'd give it a try and it turned out to be a very lucky find.

      Set in 1920's California 'The Fall' is about the relationship between a Hollywood stunt man and a little girl both in hospital after suffering accidents. Alexandria the young daughter of foreign migrants hired to pick fruit in the California's growing fruit industry is recovering from a broken arm after a fall. She befriends Roy Walker, a movie stunt man who has been left paralyzed after a fall off a bridge while filming an early silent western. As they become friends Roy agrees to tell Alexandra some stories to pass the time. One of them a magical fantasy involves six unlikely heroes each with their own special abilities who are on a quest to hunt down and kill the evil and corrupt governor of a mystical land, the aptly named Governor Odious. As he tells her the story the girl imagines the events in her mind. She gives faces to the characters using the people she has seen and met in the hospital. However Roy's motives for telling Alexandra the story and gaining her friendship are not wholly innocent and soon he persuades her to find and bring to him morphine tablets kept in the hospital pharmacy if she wants him to finish the story. Roy unable to accept his paralysis and believes that now he may never win the affections of a young actress he loves losing her to the leading man of the film he worked on. He sees his only option as suicide wishing to end his life but needs thelittle girl's help to do this.

      Can Alexandra's influence and the mystical tale he is creating for her stop him from taking such a drastic action?

      This is not an ordinary film, the mixing of real life and fantasy is beautifully done, in many ways although setting a much less darker tone it reminded me of Guillermo del Toro's 'Pan's Labyrith'. Beautiful costumes, vibrant colours and spectacular landscapes of the girl's imagined story provide a sharp contrast to the more light and dark, rather drab surrounding of the hospital.

      The script is full of imagination, the band of heroes that Roy creates for Alexandra are not your usual kind of heroes. The leader of this motley crew is the Black Bandit, a mysterious outlaw who rather in the mould of Zorro (and sporting a very similar disguise) fights on the side of the poor and the oppressed. The brains of the group is provided by none other than Charles Darwin, yes THE Charles Darwin the famous scientist, wearing a multicoloured feather overcoat and a bowler hat. Darwin is always accompanies by his pet spider monkey who he converses with at every opportunity. The brawn is provided by Otto Benga a fierce African Warrior, a dead shot with bow and arrow and a mysterious Indian swordsman whose name we never discover. The next member of the party is Luigi an expert on anything to do with guns and explosives. Finally the most enigmatic of all of them is the mute Mystic who can use the forces of nature to help him and his comrades defeat the governor's army of black clad warriors. Each character has his own reason for hating Odious and they come together through the common desire to finally put his evil rule to an end.

      Visually the film is stupendous the fantasy scenes in particular has a mesmerising quality to them. This probably has a lot to do with the director's background in commercials and music videos. The use of light and colours really creates the fantastical landscape out of the arid and barren South African locations that were used. But unlike many directors with similar background and sensibilities this film is not only about style, the plot is a sensitive and quite moving description of sadness and despair counterbalanced by hope and innocence.

      I've already alluded to visual stylistic similarities between this film and 'Pan's Labyrinth' and one other common feature is a little girl being at the centre of the story. Cantica Untaru playing Alexandra is delightful in the role. She is adorable. Curious, mischievous and kind natured one can see why Roy is charmed by her. She was only aged nine at the time she made this film and her performance is so convincing I hope we will see more of her on screen in the near future. Another pleasure of this film was to come across so many talent actors that I'd never heard of. Lee Pace who plays the unfortunate Roy was not totally unknown to me having played Ned in a rather inventive TV series Pushing Daisies from a few years ago. In this film he gives a very strong, compelling and nuanced performance and I look forward to seeing him in the new Hobbit film. The interplay between Lee Pace and the girl Catinca Untaru is both charming, funny at times and yet has truly sinister and dark undertones. Comic touches are added by an English actor Leo Bill in the role of Darwin.

      The film has a haunting quality to it, the scenes at the hospital while being realistic are seen through the girl's eyes and take on a slightly stranger darker tone. One example is when walking the corridors at night she witnesses a mother crying at being told by a doctor of the death of her young son, she sees all this through a window and there is no detail of the conversation apart from the screams and cries of the mother, which coupled with her lack of understanding of the situation make it in her eyes a scary and surreal experience. It is these small vignettes in the course of the film that stay with you long after the film has finished.

      As well as the fantasy element in the centre of the story, which itself closely follows the mounting darkness of the real events that take place in the hospital there are other subplots that feed in to the narrative. The exploitation of the migrant workers in the commercial orchards of California in the 1920's is paralleled to the exploitation of the minor players of another of California's burgeoning industries the Hollywood film industry. There is also a tale of unrequited love and one of loss all of which help to add depth and impact to the story.

      I truly believe this film to be an overlooked gem, this could easily have been something that Terry Gilliam could have put his name to and I think Tarsem Singh's directorial style should be perfect for his next project 'The Immortals' a tale of Theseus battling the ancient Greek Titans.

      'The Fall' will make you smile, fill you with wonder at its grandiose spectacle and it might even make you cry. What more do you want from a film?

      CAST & TECHNICAL INFORMATION
      Catinca Untaru ...Alexandria
      Justine Waddell ...Nurse Evelyn / Sister Evelyn
      Lee Pace ...Roy Walker / Black Bandit
      Kim Uylenbroek ...Doctor / Alexander the Great
      Robin Smith ...Luigi / One Legged Actor
      Leo Bill ...Darwin / Orderly
      Jeetu Verma ...Indian / Orange Picker
      Marcus Wesley ...Otta Benga / Ice Delivery Man
      Julian Bleach ...Mystic / Elderly Patient
      Daniel Caltagirone...Sinclair / Governor Odious
      Aiden Lithgow ...Alexander's Messenger
      Sean Gilder ...Walt Purdy
      Ronald France ...Otto
      Andrew Roussouw ...Mr. Sabatini
      Michael Huff ...Dr. Whitaker
      Grant Swanby ...Father Augustine
      Emil Hostina ...Alexandria's Father / Bandit

      Original Music by Krishna Levy
      Runtime: 117 min

      Directed by Tarsem Sing (as Tarsem). Writers Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis, Tarsem Singh and Valeri Petrov (1981 screenplay Yo Ho Ho as Valery Petrov).

      'The Fall' on DVD can be bought from Amazon.co.uk for £4.97 + free delivery at the time of writing this review.

      Highly Recommended!

      ©Mauri 2011

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        20.08.2010 18:24
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        'The Fall' is a beautiful and touching film.

        Roy Walker: All right, close your eyes. What do you see?
        Alexandria: Nothing.
        Roy Walker: Rub them... Can you see the stars?
        Alexandria: Yes.

        'The Fall' is a film that I happened upon by chance initially as it was showing on a flight I took from the UK to the USA. It's since become a film that I find very few people seem to be aware of and yet everybody I reccomend it to or lend it to absolutely loves it and ends up buying it themselves.

        It's a strange thing that a film this well produced, directed, acted and written coupled with how unbelievable it looks from start to finish failed to get the plaudits that it so clearly deserves.

        It really is stunning to look at and it's very difficult to put into words just how stunning or to be able to do it real justice. I guess it kind of Looks like some kind of dream that you wish you could remember when you wake up. The artistic attention to detail along with the clear labour of love in regard to locations used in the film mixed with the two heartbreaking performances from the two leads is a really intoxicating experience.

        Catinca Untaru's performance is genuinely remarkable given that her grasp of English was considered minor at the time of shooting and also of course her extremely young age. The maturity of the performance is startling and leaves you with a smile on your face throughout the film. Lee Pace is also utterly excellent and the growing friendship chemistry bursting from every pore of the film from start to finish is surely the reason why we love film as much as we do. You could watch this film over and over again and never get bored of it.

        It is set at the beggining of the Twentieth Century, and is based in a hosptial in LA. Catinca Untaru plays five year old Alexandria, a chatterbox imigrant who is in the hospital recovering from a broken arm. Lee Pace plays a stuntman called Roy Walker who is recovering from a fall and is also clearly brokenhearted as his girlfriend has left him for the star of the film that he is working on. Roy and Alexandria forge a friendship based around Roy's story telling ability and also unbeknown to her his desire to end his own life. He tells a story about six heroes and their common enemy, the hideous Governor Odious. Black Bandit that lost his brother Blue Bandit that was killed by Odious' men; the expert in explosives Luigi that was outcast in his town by Odious; the Indian that lost his gorgeous wife that was abducted by Odious; the former slave Otta Benga that lost his twin brother in the fields of Odious; Charles Darwin that receives a rare "Mistica Americana" butterfly killed by Odious; and Mystic that hated Odious that destroyed the fauna and flora of his lands, join forces to defeat the evil Odious. While Alexandria fantasizes the story projecting the images of her acquaintances into the characters she attempts to change vital points of the story and the two lock horns over the details of the story in a memorable conclusion.

        Roy Walker: You should ask someone else. There's no happy ending with me.
        Alexandria: I still want to hear it.

        This is brilliant brilliant brilliant and can only ever be a five out of five film for me. Right up there for me and every bit as good as Pans Labryrinth if you want a base of comparison. My one minor gripe - Didn't Roy Walker present catchphrase?

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        06.12.2009 15:46
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        Great film that leaves you a little disappointed

        The Fall is a 2006 film endorsed by David Lynch and Spike Jonze. It is directed by Tarsem Singh, and is written by himself, Valeri Petrov, Dan Gilroy and Nico Soultanakis.

        It stars a very young actress, Catinca Uncaru as its main character, Alexandria, a little girl who is staying in a hospital in the 1920s, with a broken arm. She is friends with some of the patients and the nurses. She writes little notes to one of the nurses, Sister Evelyn (Justine Waddell). One day, she drops one of her notes out of her window, hoping that Sister Evelyn, who is working below, outside, will catch it. Instead, it flutters through the window of the men's ward, below, into the hands of paralysed stuntman Roy, played by Lee Pace. Alexandria goes to retrieve the letter from him, and he offers to tell her some stories in exchange for her helping to get some more medication for his pain.

        One of the stories is about five men from different walks of life, including the Blue Bandit, who are thrown together by having a common enemy, Governor Odius. They each vow to be responsible for his death.

        The first thing that strikes you about this film is its cinematography. The opening sequence, and whole film in fact is one of the best examples of cinematography I've ever seen. The way the shots have been thought through and put together is outstanding.

        Catinca Uncaru gives a one hundred percent convincing performance in this, and I feel this is partly down to the writing. Her dialogue is exactly the way a child of her age speaks. It's beautiful to see.

        The storyline is brilliant, up to a point. Unfortunately I felt that the ending was rushed. Roy leaps from one extreme to another with little explanation, and I felt that was the crux of the story so that really disappointed me.

        However, I absolutely fell in love with Roy, and I don't think any woman could fail to. What a gorgeous character!

        Fans of Pushing Daisies might note that Lee Pace also played Ned in the brilliant television series, starring opposite Anna Friel.

        The Fall is actually quite a dark film. It's not really suitable for children as it has a lot of violent scenes in it and a lot of sadness.

        It runs for 117 minutes.

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          01.11.2009 18:59
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          A beautiful film blending reality with fairy tale.

          First things first,a big thanks to Puggers for writing about this movie! Here is one brilliant film which combines a lot of genres and a film you will remember for long. The fall is directed by Tarsem Singh and stars Lee Pace as the main protagonist.

          Alexandria is a small girl living in a catholic hospital for his fractured arm where she meets an injured stuntman named Roy who agrees to tell her a story of 5 mysterious heroes trapped in an island who are looking to kill Prince Odius. Injured Roy needs morphine from the hospital pharmacy and asks Alexandria to steal it for him if she wants to hear the complete story. Being lured to hear the story,she would go to any extent.

          The film is fascinating to say the least.It does remind you of Pan's Labyrinth(just because of the whole fairy tale meets reality factor,nothing else). As the story proceeds we realise that Roy borrows a lot from reality and the story is actually a blend of both fantasy and reality. From the writing point of view,this is a masterpiece and would not fail to amuse you.

          This is one of the most visually brilliant films you would come across,the frame being filled with vibrant colours and contrasting images.As the film goes on, you realise its got you hooked onto it,the emotional bonding between the small girl and Roy is as magical as the concept. The director is not afraid to experiment and actually flourishes with his innovative ideas of madness.This is a film where "madness" can be termed as "fun","unrealistic" as "innovative","insanity" as "magical".

          The film has a strong ending,an ending that will move you. The scene where Roy is sitting beside Alexandria's bed in the final reels is crucial and elevates the film to greater heights- this is where we really understand what Roy means to little Alexandria.

          This is a great film in every respect.Go grab a copy and start watching now!

          Rating:4.5/5

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          22.10.2009 10:35
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          Super film

          The Fall is a visually impressive film with an unusual story line that is also rather disturbing in places but overall it is a fascinatingly enjoyable film to watch.

          Set primarily in a Los Angeles hospital it is about a relationship thet develops between a five year old girl called Alexandria who is played by Catinca Untaruv and a movie stuntman called Roy Walker who is played by Lee Pace. Both are in hospital recovering for injuries and following amix up they become sort of friends however secretly Walker isdeveloping the relationship in the hope of obtaining drugs so that he can commit suicide as he is depressed and mentally unstable.

          In order to entertain the small girl Walker tells her a story that uses the characters around them to help bring it alive however Alexandria becomes immersed in the story and is able to control the characters in it, there is a supernatural feel to this film and it is very atmospheric.

          The performances in this film are very impressive not least that from the young unknown actress Catinca Untaru who playes Alexandria, with the face of an angel it is not hard to warm to her and there is naturalness about her performance which is impressive.

          Overall this is an unusual film that switches between the story that Roy is spinning and life in the hospital, there is a nice conrast between the fantasy world of the story and the harsh realities of a man who wants to die and a small girl who is looking for a relationship to replace her lost father, it is an emotionally challenging film to watch and visually impressive and well worth hunting out.

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            28.09.2009 10:40
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            A brilliant movie and highly recommended.

            ==BACKGROUND INFORMATION==


            Prominent Indian director Tarsem Singh (also known as Tarsem) directed his second feature film "The Fall" and it was first premiered at Toronto Film Festival in 2006. Later this movie released world-wide for general audiences in 2008.This movie revolves around a strange but meaningful relationship between a five year old injured girl and a frustrated young movie-stuntman in a hospital.


            The story of this movie loosely based on a Bulgarian movie made in 1981 named "Yo Ho Ho". Though, Tarsem Singh, Dan Gilroy and Nico Soultanakis re-wrote and modified the script in order to have a modern and glossy on-screen presentation.Tarsem is a very talented and innovative director. He has directed some brilliant music videos and commercials for big companies before directing feature films. He directed the famous "Losing my Religion--R.E.M" music video, which gained world-wide popularity and won numerous awards. He also directed the famous and classy Pepsi commercial "We will rock you".


            Tarsem's first feature film "the Cell" did not receive well by audience and movie critics. Though, this movie was praised for its unique story-line and outstanding visual effects. He directed his second feature film named "The Fall" and it took him almost four years to complete this movie.

            ==MAIN CHARACTERS==


            # Catinca Untaru plays the role of Alexandria (A five year old curious girl broke her hand and admitted in hospital)
            # Lee Pace plays the role of Roy Walker/Black Bandit (A movie stunt-man also admitted in hospital after an accident and later befriends with Alexandria)
            # Justine Waddell plays the role of Nurse Evelyn/Sister Evelyn (A nurse who works in the same hospital and takes care of Alexandria.)

            ==PLOT SYNOPSIS==


            This movie opens in a Los-Angeles hospital, where a five year old immigrant girl, Alexandria is admitted for her recent injury. She got hurt while she was picking fruits in nearer orchards. She is very bubbly and curious by nature, and roams around the hospital.


            One morning, Alexandria writes a little note to Sister Evelyn (She is the caretaker of the children ward in the hospital and likes Alexandria) and throws it to her, but it goes to a different room, where a badly injured Hollywood-stunt-man Roy was admitted. Roy tried to impress the heroine of the movie, and jumped of the train-bridge with a horse. He got hurt badly and admitted in the hospital.


            Alexandria finds her note in the hands of Roy, and starts talking to him. Roy starts telling a fabulous, fictional and vivid story to impress that little Alexandria. This story revolves around the real life characters around them. Slowly, Alexandria enters in to this beautiful epic story and starts controlling the characters. Though, Roy likes Alexandria, but he has a hidden motive too. He wants her to bring him some drugs so he can commit suicide.

            So the story tells us, how Roy finishes the story off and controls Alexandria's thoughts. It also tells us, how Alexandria able to change the fate of fictional characters of Roy's Story. It also tells us, how they grow a mutual understanding and meaningful friendship between them. It is a fantastic movie with outstanding visual effects and highly engaging story-line. I really enjoyed watching it.


            ==MY PERSONAL THOUGHT==


            Tarsem is a highly talented director and he surely knows how to portray a wildest free-spirit dream in cinema-screen. This movie is an outstanding presentation of beautiful visual effects along with unique story-line and some superb performances by leading characters. The major part of the story is fictional, a fable story told by Roy to impress the five year old girl Alexandria. He tells the story in such a magnificent and graphical way that, Alexandria can easily imagine and feel the characters of the story and slowly gets involve in this story. Roy takes all the story characters from real life around them and mostly from the hospital. Alexandria already knows them, so it becomes easier for her to imagine the scenes and sequences of Roy's story. Though Roy is a complete failure and mentally disturbed in real life, but he has this amazing ability to tell stories in such a wonderful way that listeners can easily feel that it is real and he/she is part of it.


            '''~Character Analysis~'''


            '''Alexandria''' is an immigrant five year old girl came in California, after angry people burned her house and killed her father. She, her younger sister and mother picks fruits in local orchards. One day, Alexandria fell while she was picking up fruits and injured herself. She admits into this hospital, where she meets with Roy.Alexandria is curious and kind by nature. She likes to experience different things in life. She is young and intelligent. She is very friendly and intuitive. It takes a hard-work for Roy to fool her. Director Tarsem presented the character of Alexandria on screen beautifully and most of all very believable to the audience.


            Romanian born incredibly talented young actress Catinca Untaru is the right choice for the character of Alexandria. Catinca is smart, lively and flexible in her character. She has this amazing and very honest facial expression that can easily touches viewer's heart. She can easily adopt with the given circumstances and act accordingly. She faced a great deal of troubles and problems to get the part of Alexandria. She competed against thousand of other child actress and won this part.


            '''Roy''' is another title character of this movie. He is a Hollywood stuntman and injured himself while trying to impress his girl-friend. He jumped off the train bridge and broke his back-bone and leg. Now he is completely bedridden, injured and mentally disturbed. He has this dangerous suicidal tendency and always looking for an opportunity to commit suicide. He is stubborn, constantly suffers from inferiority complex. He always thinks that nobody cares for him. Everybody neglects him and to get everyone's attention he does silly and stupid things.


            Alexandria meets Roy in the same hospital. Though, she does not like Roy at first. But Roy starts telling her an amazingly fantastic but totally fictional story in such a believable way which is really vivid and fascinating. Alexandria really likes his story and slowly but surely starts liking Roy. She starts stealing medicines for Roy from hospital's dispensary. Here we can see that, five year old Alexandria misses her father very much. When she meets Roy, and gets undivided attention and affection from him, she considers him as a father-figure in her life. On the other hand, Roy has a hidden motive behind being befriend with Alexandria, but later he also starts liking her. He feels for her. Both of them grow a meaningful and true friendship and this is the prime attraction of this movie in my personal opinion.


            '''~Loneliness and Friendship~'''


            Here in this movie, both of the title characters are very lonely. Roy looks for a friend, who truly cares about him and listens to his thoughts and views on different things. He loves a girl from his movie-set and jumps off the train-bridge just to impress her, to get her attention. Instead he lost his job and becomes a laughing stock amongst his co-workers. He is now completely heart-broken and becomes suicidal. He looks for different way to commit suicide. He always suffers from anxiety and inferiority complex and has this firm believe that only death can give him peace. Then he meets with this wonderful and kind-hearted young girl Alexandria. She is really charming and friendly by nature. She cares for Roy and listens to his thoughts, views and tries to console him. Here Director Tarsem has presented this wonderful friendship on -screen in such a beautiful and excellent way that surely touches audience's heart.


            In one scene when Alexandria came to visit Roy the following conversation takes place.


            Alexandria : I hope I never get better.
            Roy : Why ?
            Alexandria : Because I want to stay here with you.


            Here we can see that, Alexandria really feels for Roy and wants to stay close with him. She considers Roy as her best friend and father-like-personality in her life and wants to stay closer with him. Tarsem has presented this wonderful and meaningful relationship on screen in a magnificently.


            '''~A World of Wild and free-spirited Dream~'''


            Roy tells a wild, wonderful and fictional story to impress Alexandria. Tarsem has presented this story in such an exciting and brilliant way that surely deserves a true appreciation. Tarsem has spent a large amount of money to produce this movie and he went to more than twenty locations (in different countries) for shooting this movie. Stunning cinematography, outstanding and superb visual effects and melodious background scores all these qualities make this movie highly enjoyable. This movie largely revolves around Roy's fictional story. But, Roy does a clever trick here. He takes all the real life characters from the surroundings so it becomes much easier for Alexandria to enjoy the story.AS for example, every day morning, a guy delivers ice to the hospital. Alexandria likes to lick those ices and ice-delivery man tells her not to do it. Later when Roy tells his story to Alexandria, this ice-delivery man becomes one of the main characters of the story named "Otta Benga". In this way Alexandria feels more connected with the story and she becomes a part of this story. Tarsem has wonderfully presented a wild mixture of fiction and reality in this movie.


            '''~THINGS THAT PLEASED ME~'''


            * Excellent performance by Lee Pace and Catinca Untaru in title characters.
            * Simply outstanding visual effect and extremely beautiful background scenarios..
            * Wonderful Dialogs.
            * Highly enjoyable and engaging storyline.
            * Exceptional cinematography by Mr. Colin Watkinson.


            '''~SOME INCONVENIENCES~''''


            * Some disturbing fighting sequences.
            * Few hospital scenes are very graphic and distressing.

            ==VIEWERS RECEPTION==


            Director Tarsem spent a huge amount of money, strong effort and honest dedication to make this movie. He also produced and partly written the script of this movie as well. This movie received mainly positive reaction from both audience and movie-critics. It was also mentioned in "Top ten movies of 2008" in some newspaper and movie critic's list. Currently it has 8.0/10 rating in IMDB voted by almost 19 thousand viewers.


            This movie has a positive rating of 60% in Rotten Tomatoes website. Famous American movie-critic Roger Ebert rated this movie 4/4 and also highly praised its brilliant cinematography and unique story line.


            '''Movie Website''': http://www.thefallthemovie.com/
            '''Movie Trailer''' : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeAyIQ_OT_I
            '''IMDB rating''': http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460791/


            '''~Awards and Nominations~'''


            Though this movie praised and mainly received positively by audiences and critics still it could not manage to win any major awards. It won three awards in total. Romanian child actress Catinca Untaru nominated for Saturn Award for her outstanding performance in the role of Alexandria. Mr. Colin Watkinson also won two awards for Best Cinematography (Austin Film Critics Award and Chicago Film Critics Association Awards).

            ==FINAL THOUGHT AND RECOMMENDATION==


            To be honest, this movie does not follow the usual trend. It does not have suspenseful story, tense moments and brilliant thrilling sequences. But this movie does have brilliant free-spirited story-line wild, outrageous and breath-taking cinematography. So either you are going to love this movie or you definitely going to dislike it for its unique and unusual storyline. I absolutely loved this movie. Director Tarsem has fulfilled his dream in wild and dramatic way in this movie. It's a remarkable and extravagant journey of a curious child's mind (Alexandria) guided by a superb story-teller Roy. I simply enjoyed this movie. It's well worth of the two hours of my life. In fact I have watched this movie twice just to make sure what I just have experienced is real or not. Honestly I would love to watch this movie once again. It's a splendid and joyous experience for me. I really enjoyed watching this movie so highly recommended.

            ==WHERE CAN WE GET IT==


            You can get this movie from Amazon and it will cost you only £4.99. Otherwise you can easily rent this movie from any high-street rental store.

            Thanks very much for reading my review.

            ©Gladiator007


            '''***This is a movie only review and also posted on CIAO and Helium under the same username***'''

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              24.09.2009 11:21
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              Two vivid imaginations meet in a tale with a dark side.

              "I'm going to tell you an epic story," Roy, a hospitalised stuntman tells Alexandria, a young immigrant with a broken arm. "Do you know what epic means?"

              Alexandria doesn't, but by the end of The Fall, we certainly do. Filmed in twenty-four countries, seventeen years from conception to production, Indian director Tarsem's creation is a tale flowing with vivid, lucid imagination realised in genuinely epic proportions. The story at its heart, though, is a simple one. Roy and Alexandria meet as victims of misfortune in a 1920s Los Angeles hospital; Roy (Lee Pace) unable to walk after trying to impress the girlfriend being stolen by his film's leading man, Alexandria (Catalinca Untaru) carrying an arm in plaster having fallen whilst fruit-picking.

              The pair are linked by a story - Roy captivates Alexandria with a seemingly fantastical tale of embittered vengeance, of five exotic heroes who have each for their own reasons sworn to take retribution against the wonderfully unambiguously-named Emperor Odious. Alexandria is fed a little more of the story each time she visits the injured stuntman, and is left eagerly awaiting the next instalment. "Why do you always stop at the best parts?" she demands.

              There may, though, be more to the story than is at first apparent. What's more, Alexandria may have to make significant sacrifices to get to the end.

              There are more than a handful of parallels with the similarly dark-flight-of-fantasy-themed film Pan's Labyrinth, from Guillermo Del Toro, and if you enjoyed this, you'll almost certainly adore The Fall. The Spanish film was notable for many reasons, but amongst them was the powerful visual sense used to define the worlds of fantasy and reality. Tarsem is similarly adept at such aesthetic flair. Against the sombre corridors, sterile wards and morose patients, the vignettes of Roy's story bleed from the screen with bold, vivid colours and dramatic vistas. It's here you see the range of locations in which the film was shot, from the stark and stunning Altiplano of Bolivia through Italian ruins and labyrinthine walled cities to serene Indian oases and achingly beautiful island paradises.

              Making this all the more impressive is the director's insistence on using traditional cinematography over reliance on digital enhancements and blue-screens. What you see is stunning, and only becomes more so when you remember it's real.

              As much as the fantasy of Roy's story stands out from the reality of the hospital, so too does the film's young starlet. Catalinca Untaru makes an enormous impression in The Fall, and rewards the director's bravery in casting a youngster who speaks little English in the lead role - he claims he spent much of the nearly two decades the film was waiting to be made searching for the right actress, and here doubtlessly found her.

              Untaru's lack of English takes a while to adapt to - she has clearly learnt her lines by mimic, and as such she's a little difficult to understand at points, but she's a wonderfully endearing character, and her awkward handling of the tongue is very much part of this. There are some charming scenes shot between Pace - himself turning in a triumphant performance of dramatic highs and lows - and Untaru that have a distinctly improvised feel, often playing on the young actress's imperfect English.

              The Fall swings between dark drama and playful comedy - the latter made easier by the fantasy element of the story being a child's imagining of an adult's story - and handles both strands more or less equally well. This is a wonderfully imaginative film that turns on twin axes of clever plotting and outstanding performances, and only falls down in comparison with the likes of Pan's Labyrinth - in this kind of company, one might find that by the ending, the film has lost its clear direction a little, and lacks some of the emotional punch it promised to deliver. As such, this stops just short of being a brilliant film, but it's certainly a brilliantly ambitious one, and its director deserves plaudits for some brave decisions that have certainly paid him back with interest.

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                20.07.2009 18:26
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                Not the best told film ever, but beautiful

                The Fall, simply, is one of the most unique and inventive films I've ever seen - it very much caused me to question how I view cinema, and whilst I ultimately affirmed my view, this is one of few films that has ever caused me to do that. To explain much of the plot is simply going to ruin what is mostly a beautiful conceit, but in short, it involves Roy Walker (Lee Pace) ending up in hospital with a debilitating injury, where he comes across Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a young immigrant girl with a broken arm. The two slowly bond and he begins to tell her a fantastical tale that appears to have more to it than meets the eye. This is a winding film that doesn't show its full deck until the final few minutes, but when they hit you, they hit hard. This isn't the most narratively engaging film I've seen, but visually, and thanks to its impressive close, I was left pretty floored by it.

                The middle fantasy sections are the weakest parts of the film - visually stunning they may be, but there's little to take away from the premise that's original or otherwise. However, the form and means for which this story resonates in the film's latter moments makes it worthwhile, and the deception is mostly glorious. Performances are also solid, although I found myself struggling to understand Alexandria's thick accent sometimes.

                An immensely challenging film that asks the viewer to consider the merits of cinema on purely aesthetic terms. Visually impressive, beautifully scored and generally well-acted, The Fall nevertheless falters under a meandering plot. Moreover, the film's highly compelling twist is hampered considerably by Catinca Untaru's stodgy delivery. Although certainly divisive, there is no film quite like this.

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                  30.03.2009 17:05
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                  An Intoxicating Tale of Beauty and Spellbinding fantasy.

                  Sometime long ago, during the early days of cinema, a stuntman lies in a hospital bed in downtown Los Angeles. He has just crushed his spine in an accident where he fell from a bridge performing a terrifying and dangerous stunt - a stunt only a lunatic would perform. He may never walk, run or carry out any more stunts. The very same lunatic has just lost his pretty girlfriend to a very handsome and leading man.

                  On one floor above in the hospital is a young girl, five years of age. She is an immigrant who has broken her arm after falling from an orange tree on a terraced grove where her gypsy Romanian family work. This young girl has a very curious disposition and as she walks around the hospital grounds she finds little trinkets and hides them in a cigar box which is placed untidily at the end of her plaster encased arm.

                  Alexander (Catinca Untari) wants a friend and Roy (Lee Pace) is looking to escape. Roy charms the young girl and as she sits at his bedside he relates tales of legendary heroes, mystical lands and impressive missions. He shares only a small part of the story at a time. If she wants to know more, she will have to embark on a dangerous quest of her own - take a jar of morphine pills from the hospital dispensary. He tells her that he suffers from insomnia but we know he wants them for something else.


                  His story is so enchanting that Alexandria is under his spell and will carry out his request.

                  Roy's tale is one of cruel revenge. Five men find their lives connected together by one thread - the strong wish to kill the evil King Odious. There is the Italian, a skillful maker of explosives, who the King sent away and forbid him ever to see his loved ones; an Indian gentleman whose wife was seized and murdered by the King for refusing his advances; the young Charles Darwin, whose animals the King killed for entertainment; an African and ex slave from the fields belonging to the King; and finally, the bandit who covers his face and whose twin brother was savagely killed by the King.

                  With the help of an aboriginal religious medium the five men set out to find the abominable King.

                  It is a journey that takes them around the world and more than the King's blood will flow!

                  As Roy spins his tale, reality and fantasy combine, each world instructing the other. He fills his tale with characters taken from the real life. Doctors, nurses and patients find themselves dressed as foreign swashbuckling pirates and brave adventurers. Real life happenings in Los Angeles weave into Roy's plot and highlight events. Implausible elements from the King's kingdom manipulate the actions of those in the real world. As the tale takes a dark turn Alexandria becomes aware that this tale may not be as fanciful as she thought and realises that Roy holds the key to life and death.............

                  The Indian director who goes by the name of Tarsem has a very luminous imagination.You could say on par with that of Salvador Dali. His visual images are hypnotic and experimental. His work is a mixture of reality and dreams often turning into nightmares. Tarsem's first feature, The Cell, was not a stupendous work of art but it was filled with astonishing and powerful imagery which made you feel obliged to watch.

                  The Fall, evokes a dream like quality that is of another world.

                  The film is diffused with all things fanciful and whimsical, elephants swimming underneath water, magnificent cathedrals, Whirling Dervishes, knights in shining armour, luxurious palaces, colourful costumes, flaming bushes, mythical animation in the style of the Quay brothers and such symmetrical images that Escher would be proud of. I really found it hard to believe that the film didn't use CGI's.

                  Instead The Fall explores the planet, visiting 19 countries for some of the most amazing locales (over 24 locales) ever used fror film. Egypt, The Maldives, Roma, Bolivia, Romania, and the Czech Republic are just a few to mention. The imagery takes on a celestial splendour when accompanied by Beethoven's very loud Symphony No 7 in A major.

                  The acting in the film is stylised - sometimes over emotional, other times wooden and dull. Tarsem has created characters that are very unlikely in the world of Roy's imagination but just as we would expect when the camera breaks the mythology to return to the real world. The characterisations are an essential part of the fantasy as well as the confused and emotionally disturbed nature of the story teller.

                  Catinca Untaru is a talented first time, young actress. Her manner is so natural just like a child's should be when listening to a fairy story. Struggling with a language she could hardly speak she ad-libbed in most of the takes but for me her verbal stammering added to her dark Romanian beauty and charm.

                  Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies) put in a good performance, much better than I expected. I really felt his pain and frustratioin as the film moved on.

                  The Fall is a wacky, hypnotic and intoxicating tale of extraordinary beauty and spellbinding fantasy. For me it is a perfect film. It is imaginative, colourful, dreamy and transports me to places that I have never been. Visually, it is absolutely dazzling but at the same time the film has a spartan simplicity. It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. An absolute gem.

                  Running Time - 117 minutes
                  Certification UK - 15

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                    24.02.2009 21:26
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                    You must watch this film, an intense experience for the eyes and the heart

                    This film is an absolutely overpowering emotional and visual journey. Never before have I watched a film that has kept me thinking for so long afterwoulds. It is its absolute simplicity that is so beautiful, the relationship between a bored girl and a paralysed stunt man. It is both heartbreaking and heart rendering to watch. The charcaterization is fantastic; the actors have portrayed their characters brilliantly, in a most subtle and sympathetic way.
                    The film is composed using a framed plot, in that there is a plot within a plot. It is the inner plot that provides the magical visual feast, the filming is supposed to have taken place in 27 countries over many years, and this is certainly reflected in its quality. The landscapes and colours are vivid, symbolic, simple and intense, some scenes seem to have a photographic quality to them. There are many shots that I will remember for a long time to come.
                    I will not attempt to descibe this film further, only recommend it as a must see in your lifetime movie. I also feel that due to its symbolic nature, visual complexity, sympathetic characterization, original structure and pure emotional impact that it would also be an excellent film in to analyse for media studies at any level. An absolute must see.

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                      30.09.2008 21:32
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                      A constantly suprising, commendable (with some reservations) fantasy epic.

                      The Fall, Tarsem Singh's follow-up to The Cell, his divisive, controversial debut, is a similarly idiosyncratic, visually-stunning work as likely to inspire awe and wonder as it is boredom and frustration.

                      A loose remake of Zako Heskija's 1981 Bulgarian film Yo ho ho, The Fall concerns the relationship between stuntman Roy Walker (played by Lee Pace and with no connection, alas, to the beloved Irish gameshow host...) and pre-teen Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), both of whom are patients at a Los Angeles hospital sometime around 1920.

                      The film lunges between this "real world" environment and the fantastic, mythological alternative within which a story told by Ray to Alexandria takes place.

                      The story-within-the-story (a group of mercenaries, tradesmen, mystics and, brilliantly, Charles Darwin, are brought together by a desire to kill the tyrannical governor who has wronged them) serves both as means for Roy to address the suffering he has endured on account of an estranged lover, and also as a tool for enlisting Alexandria to help him end his life.

                      In a stroke of genius (one of many slathered about the film's 117 minutes), Tarsem opts to relate Roy's tale as it is imagined by Alexandria. Thus, characters, costumes, set-designs, landscapes are open to constant shifting and adjusting depending upon her view of any given situation or development. Nothing is fixed. Plot points swell and recede as the fancy takes. Conclusions are reached, then abandoned in pursuit of something she might find more appealing.

                      There are strong echoes throughout of The Princess Bride (and indeed The Never Ending Story), and, particularly in its final third, Cinema Paradiso, but it is Pan's Labyrinth that casts the largest shadow over proceedings. This is no fault of Tarsem, as it happens - he began work on The Fall long before Del Toro's masterpiece appeared. Still, one cannot help but compare the two - both are films which juxtapose(as did Spirit Of The Beehive) the wonders of a child's imagination with the often horrific realities of the world around them. The Fall is nowhere near as successful in this regard, and indeed much of the emotional weight of the film is lost by dint of the odd over-hammy delivery or rushed dramatic sequence. Yet it is peerless in its astounding visual sense.

                      If The Cell was his Odd Nerdrum picture, The Fall is Tarsem's synthesis of Dali, Jodorowsky and Lynch. Not a frame passes that does not hold some element over which one might feasibly salivate for much of the next decade. Its images are bizarre, inventive, challenging. One set of shots in particular - the face of a priest merging with a desert landscape - is truly breathtaking - all the more so when one considers that no CGI was used in its creation.

                      It's narrative is flimsy, but one suspects that that's partly the point. Tarsem is dealing with the mechanics of storytelling, the part the viewer / listener plays in shaping the tale, the ability of the imagination to render even the most mundane details in the most staggering of lights.

                      It has a casual misogyny about it that leaves a fairly foul taste in the mouth, and Tarsems' advert / music promo past is blatantly apparent at times (particularly in the opening B&W / Slo-Mo sequence)but this aside, The Fall is wholly commendable. A unique, epic, original piece of work of a sort one might well have presumed long dead. Highly recommended.

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                      08.09.2008 22:34
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                      One of the most beautiful looking movies of all time, features a bloodthirsty fairy tale

                      I find it very hard to put into words what I have just seen, and to be honest with you trying to piece together the movies synopsis for my opening sentence in itself proved a problem. But then put yourself in my shoes, I have seen what has arguably been one of the biggest movies of all time, filmed in 18 different countries and 26 locations including India, China, Egypt, Romania, Bali, Turkey, and The United Kingdom. With one of the biggest casts of extras', the largest film crews I have ever seen, and for an adventure movie other than for a few animated sequences there is absolutely no computer generated animation. Directed by Tarsem and backed by Spike Jonze and David Fincher, this is the wonderful world of The Fall.

                      Set in the 1920's Roy Walker (Lee Pace from Pushing Daisies, and nothing to do with Catchphrase) is in a hospital on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Roy while filming on his latest movie took place in a stunt that has now landed him in a hospital run by the church, incapable of feelings from the waist down. At that same hospital is Alexandria (Catinca Untaru)a very young girl suffering with a broken arm; one day while walking through the hospital her path crosses Roy's who tells her an amazing fact about Alexander The Great. Overwhelmed by his tale, Alexandria agrees to return the following day when Roy will tell her of a story set in a faraway place, but one that has a suspiciously familiar ring about it. For Alexandria this is a friendship with a man who could be a substitute father, for Roy his reason for striking up this relationship is far less innocent, he has an agenda and Alexandria is a pawn in his game.


                      I should begin by saying there is nothing of a sexual nature to Roy's intentions to Alexandria, this is very far from his mind. As you watch the movie you slowly get to understand what he wants from Alexandria, while being fairly innocent it is tragic, you can see that clearly Alexandria needs a father and as most of the movie is set in images from her head, you soon realise that Roy is the only man that can fill that role.


                      While the real world that the story is anchored in is set in normal surroundings, it's what happens when Roy and Alexandria when they start imagining the story Roy tells that sets this movie alight. Tarsem Singh (known in credits simply as Tarsem) is an Indian director best associated with the world of commercial and music video work. Tarsem should have come to the attention of the world back in 2005 when he was the original Director assigned to make the movie Constantine, Warner recruited him for his incredible eye for detail. But when Sony Pictures approached Tarsem with The Fall, it was something that the director could not resist, dropping (rather wisely in my opinion) the weaker Constantine for The Fall. Tarsem does indeed have an eye for beauty and wonder, and nothing would tell you otherwise when watching The Fall. If you are not blown away by the sheer majesty of this movie then sadly you had better get on to the hospital because you do not have a pulse.

                      I really cannot put into words how wonderful this movie looks; it looks so fantastic and in a world where computer generated effects are used in pretty much every movie you cannot believe that none were used here. From the colours, to locations that literally look out of this world; everything visually about this movie is just breathtaking. From the magnificent structures that have sat for thousands of years, to gloriously designed hedgerows. Tarsem uses some of the worlds man made wonders and completely reinvents them. A race across the top of The Great Wall Of China, which you would only know was the Great Wall if you swotted up on it. But it's not just the sights that are familiar and re-imagined, it's also the sights you have never seen that really create the icing on this movies cake; you would indeed need to be a world traveller to identify many of the sights seen in this movie. But it's not just the locations that are striking, it's the costumes, the make-up, and the unique cast that make this an experience like nothing you have ever seen before.


                      While visually you have not seen anything like The Fall, the story as not quite as satisfying. The story which for the most part is told from the mouth of Roy and imagined in the head of Alexandria follows the trails of movies like The Neverending Story. But don't go getting excited that this might be another great family movie; because while the movie seems like a fairly standard piece of family viewing, suddenly 30 minutes before the movies end things suddenly get much more adult, and brutally so. As is the case with all great adventure movies along the way there are casualties, and as Roy's alter ego The Bandit in the second story leads his motley crew of geniuses, explosives experts, shaman, and warriors through a sprawling landscape some must die. Rather than allowing the time honoured tradition of killing one or two per quarter of the movie, the deaths occur as the movie draws to a conclusion, and these deaths are borderline horrific. One of The Bandit's crew is butchered to death with axes, while birds fly from his mouth; you suddenly are teleported from beauty to horror at the movie takes a stark transition becoming more like Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain. And then as quickly as the horror raises its head it movies back do to innocent adventure style story telling. It's very hard to understand where The Falls target audience is, and this makes the story a touch disjointed, movie the film away from the mainstream to something more along the lines of Cult. In fairness, the storyline regardless of confusion, is a little bit lacking and for most of it I never really knew what was going on completely, but it hardly matters the biggest story is in the visual feast before you.


                      The movies warriors, a group of masked soldiers that make noises that cross between a dog and a crying child provide one of the most unpleasant bad armies of all time in my opinion. Ruthless in their assaults they have no time for hostages, cut off their heads and ask questions later. Their systematic execution of The Bandits men towards the end literally highlights this.



                      The performances in the movie are pretty good, with the exception of Lee Pace and the odd familiar star most of the movies cast are complete unknowns, some never having acted before. Its Catincu Untaru who really shines here, this Romanian actress does not speak a word of English, yet she delivers her lines (in a language she did not understand) with a quirkiness that really endears the actress. As an inexperienced actress and naive to the way of movies she was allegedly mortified when she discovered that Pace was not actually a paraplegic.

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