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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning, and a storyline more substantial than its given credit for
I bought the DVD recently after becoming intrigued by comments (good and bad) about the film on some film review sites. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon the reviews, as the film was released in 2006, but I think it must have been because Tarsem Singh also directed the just-released Mirror, Mirror.

It seems some reviewers regarded The Fall as visually stunning...
Published on 5 April 2012 by Computer user

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Colour, Deep movie
This is not an ordinary movie, it is rather deep but has a good story. The colours in the movie make a vibrant statement and if you want something a little different on a wet grey afternoon, then this is the movie for you. I recommend this extraordinary movie
Published 20 months ago by Not A Computer


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stunning, and a storyline more substantial than its given credit for, 5 April 2012
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This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
I bought the DVD recently after becoming intrigued by comments (good and bad) about the film on some film review sites. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon the reviews, as the film was released in 2006, but I think it must have been because Tarsem Singh also directed the just-released Mirror, Mirror.

It seems some reviewers regarded The Fall as visually stunning but lacking in substance, too contrived, and so on. Some reviewers complained that the film is too stylish, too beautiful, almost like overindulging in sugar-coated sweets. Having now watched it, I can say that it is indeed visually stunning (I think I would have been gobsmacked had I seen this on the Big Screen) and that many reviewers have, in my opinion, been too harsh in stating that the story lacks depth or is too contrived. Perhaps that has a little to do with my own experience as a hospitalised little boy, sitting on the bed of a mountain climber covered in plaster, his arms and legs hanging from wires and weights, listening in awe to his stories of the Yeti. In fact, after seeing The Fall, the film has left me thinking about its twists and wanting to watch it again.

The story is about a silent movie stuntman (Lee Pace) hospitalised following a very serious fall during filming, visited by a little immigrant girl (Catinva Untaru) who has also been hospitalised with a broken arm following a fall from a tree while working in the orange groves. The title of course alludes to both those falls, but it also alludes to other falls in the film, both literal and metaphorical, as you'll find out.

The stuntman has lost the use of his legs and... well, you'll have to watch the film yourself, but a significant part of the film involves him spinning a fantastical yarn to the little girl, and her visualising it. The same actors who play hospital staff, patients and visitors also play the parts of the protagonists in the yarn. In today's CGI world, it's refreshing to see a film made predominantly using real people, animals and objects in real settings (and what glorious settings they are). Sometimes the scenery is breathtaking; sometimes the cinematography is lovely.

The storyline does seem somewhat superficial, but, if you think about it more, you do discover more depth.

As to the acting, well, Catinca Untaru is wonderful. It looks to me like some of the dialogue was unscripted, as there seem to be a few unintentional overlaps in speech, which adds to the authenticity. Basically, she pulls it off brilliantly. One of the accompanying 'Making Of' videos on the DVD shows that, for the seven weeks of filming the hospital scenes, Lee Pace continued in character and she was led to believe he was a paraplegic. I suppose that was Tarsem Singh's idea to make her act more realistically. Well, it looks like it might have helped.

The soundtrack is rather a treat, too. The film starts in black and white showing the immediate aftermath of the stunt accident accompanied by Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, II. Allegretto. What a glorious piece of music.

You'll have to make up your own mind. I don't think it's quite a masterpiece -- at least not from the storyline point of view -- but I think it is well worth seeing. If my wife nods off during a film I know it must be a dud. Not only did she stay wide awake during The Fall, at the end she said she liked it. From such a harsh film critic that is praise indeed. The visual artistry in this film is five-star; the storyline four-star. I'll settle for four stars overall. Recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant tale that's a feast for the eyes, 28 Feb. 2012
By 
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fall [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This Spike Jonze's film is a visual feast. The cinematography and locations throughout are quite astounding while the film as a whole is very touching.

The story itself is a tale of two parts... firstly we follow the story of an unlikely pair, a young child with a broken arm, and an injured stuntman - who broke his back when a stunt went wrong. Set during the period of the first moving pictures, the pair meet in hospital and pass the days chatting and telling stories to each other.

The second story we're treated to in this film, is an epic tale of fantasy - created in the mind of the stuntman and relayed to the little girl part by part on a daily basis. As the story progresses so do event in the hospital... and sadly, life in real world, often isn't as beautiful.

You'll find yourself in love with the cute, almost edible, little girl and gripped as events between the pair unfold. And you'll find yourself staggered by the beauty and vibrant colours and scenery you're treated to in the stunt man's imagination and world of fantasy. Truly it is staggering that places this beautiful exist.

The dialogue too, is wonderful, as are the supporting cast around the hospital who help to make up the characters of the stunt man's tale. The costumes, too, are equally as vibrant and stunning as the fairy tale world in which they're set and all in all, The Fall, is quite a dark affair in places that is simply beautiful to watch. It's an impressive achievement that is mesmerising in many ways and truly stands alone. Recommended for all ages.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a stunning visual treat...with a nicely paced moral core, 20 July 2009
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This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
After creating the visually stunning but emotionally un-engaging the Cell in 2000, it was hard to say exactly which way director Tarsem Singh was going to go with his whole style over substance approach. Thankfully, he has addressed some of these problems with his latest film, the visually stunning The Fall.
Set in a hospital on the outskirts of 1920's Los Angeles, the film tells the story of injured movie stuntman Roy (Lee Pace from Pushing Daisies), who befriends a little girl Alexandria (an amazingly assured performance from Catinca Untara). Both of them are recovering from falls, Roy from a stunt that went horribly wrong whilst trying to impress a woman, and Alexandria from a fall from a tree that left her with a broken arm. In an attempt to win the little girls trust, Roy begins to tell her fantastical story about five outlaws and their battle against the evil Governor Odious, a story that mirrors Roy's own life and his failed romance, but Alexandria's vivid imagination gives the story a life of its own, as people from around the hospital begin to appear in the story in much the same vein as the Wizard of Oz. However, Roy has his own hidden agenda for befriending the little girl, an agenda that soon becomes all to clear to the viewer, but unfortunately not to Alexandria.
The film is a breathtaking spectacle of lush, rich imagery combined with a surprisingly engaging story. Much has been made of the images contained within the film, and there is no denying the fact that they are stunning, with sequences set in some of the most exotic and beautiful locations in 25 countries around the world. With images that are akin to living paintings, the film is undeniably stunning to look at, with several scenes being almost unreal (a particular favourite is a sequence in the governor's castle featuring his heavily armoured guards and a courtyard full of steps...incredibly gorgeous to look at).
However, let's not overlook the simple yet very engaging story. Pace and Untara strike up a gentle chemistry that really works as the story flits back and forth between fantasy and reality, with some nice, gentle humour as reality and fantasy bleed into one another, but finally Roy's true motives are revealed and the story takes a darker turn as Alexandria begins to see the story and real life as one and the same thing. Whilst this film is undoubtedly more style than substance what substance there is goes a long way to making this a very enjoyable visual epic with a nice little morality tale at its heart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good bluray movie, 9 July 2012
By 
KM (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Fall [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Lee Pace (of Pushing Daisies) plays stuntman Roy Walker who injures his spine after performing a high jump on horseback into water from a railway line. He ends up in a hospital where a little Romanian girl (Alexandria) is recovering from a broken arm.

He befriends her and starts telling her a fantasy adventure story which captures her imagination. She has to return to him each day in order to hear the next part. It all appears innocent enough at first but he has alterior motives in gaining Alexandria's trust. . . .

This is a fantasy movie involving a masked swashbuckling hero (a bit like Zorro), an Italian explosives expert, an escapee African slave, an Indian warrior and one Mr Charles Darwin who has a monkey companion!

The story twists and turns as he is making it all up as he goes along of course. Whilst the story may not be particularly brilliant (to some) the actual filming, scenes, backdrops in this movie are awesome-ish! Shot in 20 countries/locations around the world, some you'll recognise and many you won't. The opening shot in the first installment of the fantasy is of a trojan riding a horse down one of the highest sand dunes in the world in Deadvlei in Namibia. The shot as the camera pans out is amazing. Also in the movie is the stunning mosque Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. I was also surprised to see the Balinese Keckak monkey chant in the movie, brilliant stuff.

As a bluray the picture quality is absolutely spot on as it should be with all these fascinating/epic locations and fantasy scenes. The rich colours and clarity throughout are brilliant here, visually appealing.

There's some commentary options and a documentary about the making of The Fall too.

The little girl playing Alexandria who was only six when this was made is outstanding. She wasn't given any script and this definitely comes through in the part she plays. Amazing.

I can definitely recommend The Fall as a lovely little movie and if you're a bluray fan for stunning visuals.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling, 23 Oct. 2011
By 
W. Rodick (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
This is a little girl story. A movie from the heart to the heart. You will realise you own a colour television. And recall how much you loved Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective [DVD] [1986]. The twists in the narrative are as wild as the visual delights. A sense of scale is bypassed. Always love that. And originality keeping you on board.

Made in 2006 it crossed my path as a 'recommended to you.' Sometimes I take a punt on an unknown winner. Yi Yi [DVD] [2000] lasted fifteen minutes recently. Try it again when I'm in the mood of empty. 'The Fall' hit the spot right from its opening black and white shots. Glad the little girl isn't sugar-plum pretty. Or quaintly dumb. All kids are bilingual.

Beethoven's 7th symphony greets you and holds your hand throughout. Deadly daring and comic punnery punctuate our smiles. Style and substance glide side by side. Heroes and heartthrobs - the stuff of Pictures and kissing. Treat your widescreen to child definition. Truly beguiling.
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only this film made it to cinemas...., 9 Aug. 2008
By 
Rebecca Bartlett (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
Predominantly set in India , but featuring twenty-five other countries, this is a crisp, clean, visually stunning film. Just like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero and House of Flying Daggers redefined what cinema can achieve, Singh's sublime combination of rich colour, Dali-esque imagery and a vivid imagination - from him and Roy (Lee Pace), the injured man telling the story - pushes the boundaries of cinema's capabilities. It is difficult to forget images of an elephant swimming underwater, or spilled tea merging into a blood-stained sheet hiding a fallen hero's body in a hazy desert. The story is an epic fantasy taking advantage of towering sand dunes, the indigo buildings in Jodhpur and lush gardens of the Taj Mahal, but is as memorable as its locations, cleverly combining self-aware humour with a believable air of ethnocentrism (in the 1900s, is an Indian from India or America, for example?). I'm devastated that even though it did the film festival circuit it doesn't appear to be getting a cinematic release, as it is more than worthy of being seen on a big screen. It is undeniably refreshing to see, in this time of green screens and CGI, that a film can still take one's breath away.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a movie!, 11 Jan. 2013
By 
Ram Lee (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
Yes there are definitely beautiful colors and light and landscapes and locations in this movie. And fortunately there is much more to enjoy in this movie than just the amazing visuals.

The movie shows us a broken-hearted stuntman Roy that finds himself utterly dispirited while he is hospitalized because he was injured after a fall, or maybe because he might also feel suicidal. In this hospital, set in the 1920s, he meets the 6-year old girl Alexandria, also hospitalized there.
This meeting enlivens him somewhat and he gradually begins to tell her a story which sort of grows into an epic.
We hear what he tells her and we see how she pictures it.

The interaction between Roy and Alexandria is the living heart of this movie and is plainly endearing - so real and natural.

The Epic is interrupted with happenings in the hospital, most of which make more sense than it seems at first sight.
The story of the Epic is a bit simple and at first I found the motivations of the main characters shallow or flawed - but when it dawned that the Epic is Roy's story (and not a story standing on its own) then all happened to fit seamlessly. It is not the bones of the story that makes it so appealing but the flesh on them (which reveals the inner life of the story-teller).
You will come to share Alexandria's curiosity how it will develop. The last 15 minutes of the Epic are truly intense and heartbreaking.

This movie appears to be not only psychologically sound (concerning the inner dynamics of Roy and Alexandria) but it is (for me) also indisputably an authentic artistic achievement, displaying a memorable and intense catharsis.

I cannot help finding myself to admire 'The fall' in so many ways.
This movie is a real flower. Sincere thanks to Tarsem for the creative efforts!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunningly beautiful film, 11 Feb. 2011
By 
Iain S. Palin (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fall [DVD] (DVD)
This is the most visually beautiful film I have seen since the work of David Lean.
It is the early Twentieth Century and Roy, a stuntman in the fledgling film industry is in hospital. He is recovering from a professionally-acquired injury, but not recovering from a broken heart (his girlfriend has dumped him for a handsome actor). In the hospital he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Alexandria, a young but precocious immigrant child who is herself recovering from an injury she sustained during hazardous work.
Roy tells Alexandria stories, or rather one long episodic tale, with which she becomes entranced. These story sequences are surreal but also real in the way that only a child's imagination can render them - we are seeing her visualisation of what she is hearing - and lovingly, beautifully rendered (and all the better for having virtually no CGI). However Roy has his own agenda, he wants Alexandria (who is mobile while he is not) to steal the hospital drugs with which he plans to commit suicide.
As the film progresses we see the story world and the real world become more intertwined, leading to an outcome that - well, I shall not spoil it for you. Enough to say that the storyline itself is good, the way it is rendered makes it even better (watch the crossover roles as people Alexandria sees in the hospital become heroic - or otherwise - characters in the stories), and the visual quality raises it to a very high standard.
The cast were all unknown to me, they turn in solid professional performances, but newcomer Catinca Untaru as Alexandria is truly outstanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars surrealistic pillow..., 25 Nov. 2008
By 
bohobozo - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed Tarsem Singh's 'The Cell' and I was really looking forward to seeing this - perhaps too much - I'd read the notices so my anticipation was high.
This movie is a visual triumph - but a triumph over what?
Niggling.
It's a movie that is dreamlike and surreal.
Fantastic.
Dali-esque.
A fantasy perhaps in the mould of 'Baron Munchausen','Pan's Labyrinth' maybe 'The Fountain' - to all of which I have given multi-viewings and enjoyed.
Here in 'The Fall' the visuals are stunning.
Some original, some new, some borrowed, some sampled.
Some tribute to the fallguys - the stuntmen and stars - of the silent movie era - sampled, saluted.
Some 'Baraka' borrowed.
Malick, the Quay brothers too.
I expected to be overwhelmed - totally absorbed in my viewing - and although I walked away from the end richer from the experience, I couldn't help having a niggling feeling that I should have been more rewarded.
More satisfied.
Maybe I missed something, maybe the movie is missing something?
It is a visual triumph - but a triumph over what?
Substance? - The story is simple - straight forward.
Too simple, too straight forward - no surprises.
Perhaps I should have managed my expectations better or maybe I'll find greater satisfaction after another screening or two.
But there are too many 'perhaps and maybe' here from me to put this amongst the best.
Was my anticipation too great or have I missed something?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The film that Jeunet could only dream of making ..., 3 Mar. 2012
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fall [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
... and possibly the most beautiful two hours of Blu-Ray I've ever seen.

The Fall is a surreal fantasy but with its roots firmly entrenched in a gritty tortured reality, as a bereaved, injured, depressed and morphine-addicted stunt-man spins a tale to an impressionable young girl, initially for his own selfish ends but.... no, don't worry, no spoilers here - just watch it for yourself!

There are certain visual similarities to the likes of Pan's Labyrinth and several movies from the Gilliam or Jeunet canon, but, in terms of life's great adventure seen through the magic filter of a child's eyes, The Fall's spirit is perhaps closer to The Princess Bride or even The Wizard of Oz. With its achingly beautiful landscapes, a stirring Beethovian score and an astonishing performance from young Catinca Untaru, this is nothing short of a masterpiece. Almost every scene from The Fall could be hung in the Tate.

A film that stands up to repeat viewings, which truly showcases the Blu-Ray medium and which will make you feel great to be alive!
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The Fall [DVD]
The Fall [DVD] by Tarsem Singh (DVD - 2009)
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