The Fall (15)

Jan 18, 2012
Cranbrook Film Society

The bones of the story are quite simple. Set in a hospital on the edge of Los Angeles in the 1920s, a badly injured young stuntman (Lee Pace) is visited by a young girl with a broken arm (Catinca Untaru). He is in despair: his injuries have not only ended his career, but lost him the woman he loves. The young girl, bored, asks him to tell her a story. He provides the words, but it is her imagination that translates them into the most extraordinary visual images. Gradually the gap between fact and fantasy seems to narrow.

The story behind the making of this film is almost as fantastic as the film itself. The director, Tarsem Singh, apparently spent millions of his own money and four years filming it in twenty-eight countries. The film critic Roger Ebert said The Fall, “is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself.”

Singh was born in India, studied in America and became a leading director of music videos and TV commercials. He said of his start, “I saw a book in India titled Guide to Film Schools in America, and it shell-shocked me. It changed my life, because I thought you went to college to study something that your father loved and you hated. I told my father I wanted to study film and he said there was no way he was gonna let me do that. I made my way to Los Angeles, and made a film that won a scholarship to the Art Center College of Design. My father thought I was headed for Harvard. I called him and said, ‘I want to study film,’ and he said, ‘You don’t exist anymore.’”

Cast: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru and Justine Waddell

Tarsem Singh | USA/India | 2006 | 115 minutes | 15


            Weighted vote 82.2%