Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Fall

MUST-SEE: (Tarsem Singh) In a hospital outside of Los Angeles in the 1920s, an injured and heart-broken stuntman named Roy (Lee Pace) and an innocent five-year-old Spanish field-worker named Alexandria (Cantinca Untaru) meet amidst the injured and together embark upon one of the most beautiful and fantastic love-stories ever told. Alexandria, barely speaking English and stuck with her healing arm in the air, finds Roy, curious and anxious for company, in the quiet and otherwise empty adult ward. The two make introductions before he begins a story of five bandits (including Charles Darwin) who trek across country to each's unique avengeance. It's unique, original, and strangely hypnotic, but captures Alexandria's attention immediately. Using the suspense of the story, it eventually becomes Roy's bribe to get morphine to numb the pain not only after a tragic fall left him paralyzed, but also from a broken heart. Without his true love or a career left, he yearns for death, moping about what's left of his life, intertwining his tragedy into a story of morbid heroic hope for Alexandria. And she doesn't for one day give him peace to let his own thoughts marinate, resulting in stories that dawdle on the line between fiction and reality. What was once seeming affection for the little girl (who never spoke a word of English before taking this role, equalling adorable) becomes a greedy and cold-hearted attempt to feed his pain and end his life. His storyline strangely mirrors his life, or maybe his nightmares, taking Alexandria on a roller coaster through his emotions. Only as he moves towards death, she adores him more, fighting to keep him happy and alive, ignorant to the fact that what he asks her for is what is killing him. Even when Roy sees the error of his ways (Alexandria gets injured stealing pills) he still can't drag himself out of the misery, even if only for her sake... and the struggle between the two is breathtaking, gut-wrenching, and most of all, beautiful. Beauty is actually the most prominent feature of The Fall. Whether through color, film speed, rhythm or motif, the imagination brought to life on screen is one that goes beyond what words are able to describe. It's most literally eye candy, substituting a concrete plot or timeline for a mystifying cine-scope that not only steals your focus, but also grips your heart in tune for these unknown, yet genuinely phenomenal characters.

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