Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Fall

Today is Father's Day. At my son Kevin's insistence, this morning I watched director Tarsem Singh's 2006 movie The Fall. A film that, in essence, is about becoming a father.

What a wondrous visual feast! It reminded me of The Princess Bride, The Wizard of Oz, and the Arabian Nights, somehow blended with a story of early Hollywood in a hospital near the orange groves of 1920's Los Angeles.

The Fall is teaming with interesting actors, but not one that I recognized. Actor Lee Pace stars as an injured Hollywood stuntman who is contemplating suicide rather than live as a cripple. Another patient in the hospital, a young immigrant girl (played by a remarkable child actress named Catinca Untaru) who broke her arm picking oranges, is drawn to him when he tells her an epic story of a team of friends seeking revenge against an evil governor.

And what a colorful team of heroes! I especially liked the mud-covered mystic wildman who emerges from a smoldering tree. Tarsem's band puts many other superhero films to shame. I even had the thought that Tarsem should be in the running to direct The Hobbit now that Del Toro has stepped down.

Though the lavish visuals nearly overwhelm the story, the director never loses sight of the heart of this story, the relationship between the forlorn stuntman and the fatherless child.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, June 20, 2010

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