Finally got around to seeing The Fall, and I’m so glad we devoted a full, solid three-ish hours to absorb it. From the first five or so minutes, I knew I wanted to kidnap this child, Catinca Untaru.
She’s the cutest thing I’ve seen on screen in recent memory. Very talented, but not at all annoying in that Dakota Fanning way. I want to pinch her cheeks. I want her to walk around in my house and show me her box of treasures. I don’t want her teeth to grow in; I don’t want her broken arm to heal. She is so precious, adorable, and lovable. The Telegraph’s Tim Robey called her “a chubby gurgling little thing from Romania.” Now I want a Romanian baby!
Bongo and I have been running around impersonating one of her first lines, “How do you go to the potty?” It sounds weird out of context, but after you see The Fall, I promise you will want to get in touch with your inner child. If you’re lucky, that inner child is Untaru. She’s like that little kid at a birthday party who isn’t necessarily a part of the in-crowd. She borders between precocious, mature thought (spoiler later) and pure, childlike daydreaminess. Did I mention she’s super cute?
Onto the rest of the film. I loved it. From the adult yet whimsical story to the gorgeous costumes to the typography in the end credits. LOVED IT! A lot of people rave about The Fall’s cinematography, which is gorgeous. I felt like I was watching a magazine spread in action. It must have been the Western movies component to the story, but the movie’s frequent use of vast blue sky made me think of Marlboro ads. The story is fantastic, a seemingly lighter version of Pan’s Labyrinth but darker version of The Princess Bride, but the visuals choreographed to tell it are really amazing. They filmed in over 20 different countries! That’s gotta be the coolest gig ever! For my future honeymoon I would like to visit each spot once. Not a tall order at all.
The costumes were designed by Eiko Ishioka, and with any luck, this will be my next Halloween costume:
If I were a Project Runway judge I would sing about the innovation behind the fan-mask and the beauty of the silhouette. Sigh. Ishioka’s coffee table must be hidden under the weight of a thousand inspirational fashion mags and clippings from all over the world. It was kinda like Cirque du Soleil plus Julie Taymor meets origami. And you know how I’m a sucker for multicultural things. (Also keep an eye out for the purple dress Nurse Evelyn wears. She embodied my idealized genie.)
It came as no surprise, after I watched the movie, to learn that The Fall is directed by Tarsem Singh, who directed The Cell. Whereas The Cell made me feel like I had just been mentally violated, The Fall seemed to open me. To be fair, they are completely different stories from each other, but Singh’s rich storytelling can be seen in both. Singh didn’t skimp on visual creativity in either movie, and now I think he is a master at dreams.
In the final conflict between Alexandria (Untaru) and Roy (Lee Pace, the piemaker from Pushing Daisies!), Roy can’t get past the fact that his ex girlfriend did not love him. He feels down on life and can’t bring himself out of his suicidal state. He ends up killing the story he’s woven for Alexandria. She fights with Roy to keep the story, and him, alive. Both speaking through tears, she bluntly tells him, “No, she doesn’t love him! Your girlfriend stayed in the car!”
It broke my heart! It was the slap of reality he needed, and thus Alexandria brought Roy back to living.