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The Fall 

Tarsem Singh


The Fall
Directed by: Tarsem Singh
(Columbia/Tristar)
The Fall, director Tarsem Singh’s ambitious follow-up to The Cell, was shot in 18 countries and is awash in extra-dazzling visuals---butterfly-shaped islands, richly coloured sands, swimming elephants. The film looked mighty pretty on my laptop screen and on the big screen I bet it’d be full-on stunning. The film tells the story of heartbreakingly cute Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a newly fatherless little Romanian laid up in hospital with a broken arm, and Roy (Lee Pace, AKA Ned the dead-raisin’ piemaker on Pushing Daisies), a jilted, injured and suicidal stuntman who befriends Alexandria by telling her an epic story about love and bandits, then convinces her to steal morphine for him so he can off himself before the story’s over. As Roy crafts a yarn that reflects his own nihilistic suffering, the little girl pictures the story in her mind---Singh brings that child-filtered version of the tale to life onscreen. (Think The Princess Bride, if Fred Savage was a tiny Romanian just learning English and Peter Falk had the ability to change the story he was telling and a death wish.) The Fall has its flaws---Singh’s a little too emotionally manipulative---but it’s beautiful, funny and charming, and totally features Charles Darwin wearing a fuzzy red coat.
---Lindsay McCarney

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