The Fall Review – Tarsem Singh

1 Jun

Trailer for “The Fall” (quicktime)

In Los Angeles circa 1915, a little immigrant girl (Catinca Untaru) is in a hospital recovering from a fall. She strikes up a friendship with a bedridden man (Lee Pace), who captivates her with a whimsical story that removes her far from the hospital doldrums into the exotic landscapes of her imagination. Making sure he keeps the girl interested in the story he interweaves her family and people she likes from the hospital into his tale. Shot on location in 18 countries around the world, The Fall is a moving, visually sumptuous fantasy of exotic bandits, evil tyrants, dream-like palaces and breathtaking landscapes.

The Fall Tarsem Singh

The Fall Tarsem Singh

The Fall Tarsem Singh

The Fall Tarsem Singh

The Fall Tarsem Singh

The Fall Tarsem Singh

I saw the 10pm showing at E street cinemas on Saturday May 31st in Washington D.C., and Tarsem himself was there after the movie ended to do a question and answer.

He basically said he sold everything and sunk his entire savings into making this, he said no studio would touch it. So this is his baby, and he even pokes fun at other directors (the chanting mystics drawing directions on the the one mystic was him making fun of ‘Baraka’). He said he waited for literally 20 years to find the one girl..he said that’s the only thing that kept him from making it is they needed the perfect little girl. They said when they found her she did not speak English, she became fluent after about 10 days on the set.

He also said his own GF dumped him, moved away and married some other dude and had kids with the guy and that it left him ‘fucked up’ so the movie’s themes of despair over lost love was very very personal. It wouldn’t surprise me if he himself was suicidal but he didn’t touch on that. He said it took about 4 years to film and they traveled to 28 countries to film it. He also said none of the locations in the film were CGI, it was all 100% real locations. He said the only CGI they used was to remove modern things that shouldn’t be there. He said thats part of the reason the movie took so many years to finally get made, he was scouting the world for some of the most scenic, beautiful locations possible. He was a cool guy, very friendly and as expected a bit eccentric.

He said that Lee Pace was under strict orders to not let anyone know he could actually walk. He wanted everyone on the set to believe Lee Pace was actually paralyzed. I’m not sure why he felt that was so important but I guess he is more into method actors or something.

I asked Tarsem about the similarities between this movie and the Sweet Lullaby video by Deep Forest, he responded he happily “plagiarized” his own work for this movie, he felt that his entire body of work was practice for this movie. I personally feel it is his opus, his masterpiece. If you do not see this movie in the big screen you are making a HUGE mistake.

I can not emphasize enough how beautiful this movie was. Stunning cinematography, a true modern masterpiece.

100 out of 10 stars.

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”
– John Ruskin

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14 Responses to “The Fall Review – Tarsem Singh”

  1. hardluckrapture June 2, 2008 at 1:12 am #

    I saw it yesterday as well. Packed theater. I have never seen a movie combine heartbreaking drama and laugh out loud humor at the same time.

  2. hardluckrapture June 2, 2008 at 1:32 am #

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080529/REVIEWS/805290301
    ‘”The Fall” is so audacious that when Variety calls it a “vanity project,” you can only admire the man vain enough to make it. It tells a simple story with vast romantic images so stunning I had to check twice, three times, to be sure the film actually claims to have absolutely no computer-generated imagery. None? What about the Labyrinth of Despair, with no exit? The intersecting walls of zig-zagging staircases? The man who emerges from the burning tree? Perhaps the key words are “computer-generated.” Perhaps some of the images are created by more traditional kinds of special effects.’

    • Anonymous October 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

      Perhaps the key word is “geography”. The Labyrinth of Despair is in Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, India. The zig-zagging staircases are part of a well.

  3. cleophite June 2, 2008 at 6:36 am #

    This sounds incredible (both the movie and the story behind the making of it). I will have to make it a point to get to the theatre to see it.

  4. dazz June 2, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    Okay, what’s with the Wil Weaton?

  5. docwho88 June 4, 2008 at 4:55 am #

    It’s fairly middling on the Tomatometer, but I’ve always taken more stock in what Roger Ebert says (if what he says is better in general), and he gives it 4/4 stars. So if you haven’t read his review already you might like to

    • docwho88 June 4, 2008 at 4:55 am #

      whoops of course i only just now see that someone beat me to linking it. oh well.

  6. nbtwn June 5, 2008 at 3:33 am #

    It was beautiful, depressing, and somewhat stilted. I can’t say that I agree with you about the movie… there were these inconsistencies that made me hate it… but it was pretty. I just don’t think pretty is everything when I’m bored. Which pretty much means I’m going to hate Iron Man.
    BTW– it was all definitely shot on location, Ben and I went to all of the Indian sites found in the movie except for the scenes where you can see the blue city of Jodhpur. It’s blue because it’s painted with a blue dye (indigo?) that repells mosquitos.

  7. Anonymous June 17, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    The most beautiful and perfect movie in film-making history mixing love, sorrow, and fantacy! My hat off to Tarsem, then Catinca and Pace. Thanks Tarsem for the greatest gift given to a viewing audience!

  8. mercury_tate June 19, 2008 at 11:28 pm #

    This movie was beyond incredible. I’ve seen it three times already and have encouraged several friends to watch it as well. With all of their reviews being positive. Even though you didn’t like it, nbtwn, thanks for telling me that the blue city actually exisits. The friend I went with the first time couldn’t believe there was actually a blue city out there somewhere!

  9. porphyre September 2, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    (I’ve linked to your review.)

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