I’ve waited for some time to see a US trailer for The Fall, the movie Tarsem showed at festivals almost two years ago. Now that one is here, I’m surprised to realize how…protective I feel towards the movie, which wasn’t even a particular favorite when I saw it in 2006.
But my critical relationship with Tarsem has been rocky, to say the least. I find The Cell to be drivel, and I resent him for copping so shamelessly from other (arguably superior) artists. Some of that resentment is also redirected anger at other critics who praised Tarsem for the movie’s imagery, either unaware or unconcerned at the amount of liberal lifting going on. Since I just dedicated a wholly tangental paragraph to that, I’m obviously not over it, but I think Tarsem might deserve another chance.
So there’s The Fall. It’s not a great movie by any stretch, but it feels more like his own work so I can forgive some of the weaknesses. And where The Cell was a slog, this is a fun gloss on your typical adventurous fable. You’ve got glorious Indian landscapes, loads of self-aware fight choreography, Charles Darwin dressed as a Clockwork Orange droogie (a brilliant touch) and, since it is Tarsem, loads of horses.
I wish the trailer focused more on Catinca Untaru, the little girl who drives much of the story. Yeah, she looks…developmentally challenged…but truly, she’s got some of the most natural delivery I’ve seen from a child actor. Most of the time she looks as if she doesn’t even realize a camera is running, and almost everything I liked about The Fall relates directly to her. Because she’s possessed with a very atypical, and perhaps fleeting charisma I don’t expect to ever see her in a movie again, so this is her hit single. Give it a chance, either with the embed below or in slightly larger form at IGN.