Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 00:45 AM EDT, 13 June 2012
Tarsem Singh, 51, born in Jalandhar, Punjab to a Punjabi Sikh family, is the acclaimed director of The Cell, and has created in his movie The Fall, a moving and seamless portrait of mundane life in a 1915 Los Angeles hospital inhabited by rich and mercurial characters.
This movie is filled with a visually sumptuous fantasy world of exotic bandits, evil tyrants, dream-like palaces and breathtaking landscapes.
Finished in 2006 it was later released in theaters in 2008 with music by Krishna Levy. The costume designer is Academy Award®-winner Eiko Ishioka (Bram Stoker’s Dracula). The Fall was shot on location in South Africa, India and many other countries.
After only viewing clips and trailers, the cable provider in our area finally added this extraordinary movie to its content offering. Words cannot adequately describe how magnificently Singh conceptualized this film.
It is in equal measure ludicrous and heart wrenching as viewers cheer for the heroes and marvel at the wondrous ability the young Romanian actress Catinca Untaru possesses but which many adults have lost, the power to imagine a world unfettered by the laws of reality.
The framework of the story centers on the desire of the protagonist, Roy Walker, to commit suicide using the young girl, who is also a patient, as an unwitting accomplice. A stuntman by profession, he is paralyzed from a fall after performing a jump scene in his first film, and is now bedridden. He begins to tell Alexandria played by Untaru, an epic story which he will only continue if she agrees to get him pills with which he can overdose.
Tarsem’s “The Fall” is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself. Tarsem, for two decades a leading director of music videos and TV commercials, spent millions of his own money to finance “The Fall,” filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it.
It tells a simple story with vast romantic images so stunning I had to check twice, three times, to be sure the film actually claims to have absolutely no computer-generated imagery. None? What about the Labyrinth of Despair, with no exit? The intersecting walls of zig-zagging staircases? The man who emerges from the burning tree? To the scene of the monkey, Wallace, chasing a butterfly through impossible architecture, “The Fall” is beautiful for its own sake. ;(Source: Roger Ebert review for the Sun Times)
Watch an interview with the director below and I highly recommend readers to rent or buy this movie and lose yourself in an alternate reality worthy of distraction.
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- The Fall (2006) (thecinemaid.net)
- The Cell (myoldaddiction2.wordpress.com)
- Sundance: Puccini Goes Avant-Garde (thefilmexperience.net)
- Mirror Mirror (sophtaylor.wordpress.com)
- Lost in a Story: A review of Tarsem Singh’s “The Fall” (thevolatilemolotov.wordpress.com)