Friday, July 4, 2008

The Fall

Let's just say this movie was much anticipated. I had seen the trailer many months ago and expected a Jodorowsky-type Dali-influenced spectacle. Who knew it actually had a plot? Now a confession about my movie taste: style is far more important than substance. So although "The Fall" is, by and large, mostly a B + movie, it gets full marks in beauty and power.

Mostly, the film is about storytelling. Director Tarsem Singh shot this movie on location in 28 countries, so you know the story has to be impressive. Set in 1915 Los Angeles, a poor Romanian girl recovers from a broken elbow in a covenant hospital. Clever yet gullible and quite silly, she befriends a fellow patient who weaves an exciting story. Really the only interesting parts of the movie were the Dali-esque story scenes. But just imagine how breath-taking these moments were on screen: an elephant swimming in an ocean, a Moroccan town painted completely blue, golden hills of sand beneath a cerulean sky... and the cinematography! Oh, the cinematography! *gasp*

Then there's the amazing soundtrack, comprised of only one song: the second movement of Beethoven's Symphony no. 7. Now, if you haven't heard it before, here's an excerpt:

Now you can understand how this one 9-minute piece can serve as the framework for a film.

Usually I judge how good movies are on the after-affects, and this one certainly has it. Rottentomatoes gives it a 53%, and though I usually trust the tomato meter, in this case I have to strongly disagree. "The Fall" is amazing. Perhaps not amazing enough to buy, or even to beg the Landmark for the poster, but wow. That said, you either love it or hate it, so don't take my word for it. Support your local Landmark Theatre and see it! My poor minimum-wage earning soul will love you forever.

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