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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Fall


The Fall begins with a deceptively simple story: young, immigrant Alexandria is recovering from a broken arm in an LA hospital where she befriends Hollywood stuntman, Roy who is paralyzed after a reckless stunt. He begins telling her a fairytale about five bandits out for revenge and we, the viewer, are transported into the fantastical world of Alexandra's imagination. Here is part of the beauty of the film: Alexandria's poor English transforms Roy's description of Wild West scenario's into something more implausible--a wigwam resembles the Taj Mahal, a sqaw becomes a veiled Indian princess, and Charles Darwin dons a ladybug coat. There's more behind the story; Roy's motives in his friendship are not entirely pure, but as in the fantasy world where Alexandria spins his words into her own interpretation, real life has a few twists as well. In a really poignant moment where the story teeters nearly out of control Alexandria steps in stating, "It's my story too."
The whole premise of the listener and storyteller intermingling roles seems relevant in a world where we do sometimes become what we read/see/hear and it becomes us. From studies showing that readers will pick up mannerisms of their favorite fictional characters, to the more obvious effects of various scenes/stories on our psyche and sense of well-being. Beyond the effect of stimuli on us, there is the thought of how a creation takes on a life of its own in the public space. How works of art stop belonging merely to the artist as other people find different interpretations, stories, meaning than was originally intended. Unintentional to the artist, doesn't necessarily make an observation invalid.
Anyway, The Fall is a beautiful film both from a visual standpoint and with appreciation towards the storyline. Delicately crafted it takes the viewer on a beautiful ride through reality and fantasy and showing once again how the two are ultimately intertwined.
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