Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Yeah, everybody knows Tarsem's THE CELL and we all know it's pretty amazingly bad. But some of the images from that film still linger with me, so when I read the below review I was very happy to hear that Tarsem might have made a flick worthy of the imagery he can conjure. Enjoy the review and hopefully we'll get a chance to see this flick stateside at some point.
Hi Harry, Mathesonlegends here from a review of Tarsem Singh´s (The Cell) latest film "The Fall" which screened at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival where i worked at the press department. Sorry i haven´t been able to post this review earlier but was sick for a while after the festival ended. First of all i have to say that "The Fall" won Best Film at this year´s edition of the festival and damn i am happy cause it was one of my fave films if not my only choice for the best film category. "The Fall" tells the story of a little romanian 5 year old girl called Alexandria ( played by Cantica Untaru ) who is staying at an american hospital in the 20´s while she recovers from a broken arm. There she befriends film stuntman Roy Walker ( Lee Pace from new hit TV show Pushing Daisies ), Walker had a stunt gone horribly wrong and is staying in bed till he recovers but possibly he will not be able to walk anymore. Walker decides to tell Alexandria the best story she would ever listen to, "an epic one" in his own words, the story is about five very different men, an african slave, an italian bomber, an indian adventurer, a masked bandit and Charles Darwin, yeah you read correctly, Charles Darwin and these five men have been stranded in a butterfly shaped reef in the middle of the sea by an evil spaniard governor called Odius. As they team up to seek revenge on the man that ruined their lives the story starts to unfold not only for Alexandria´s eyes but for the audience´s too and as things start to happen around Walker and his new little friend he starts adding these events into the story, melting reality and fiction and taking the tale into a new direction. See, Walker is using the story he is retelling as a tool to get Alexandria do for him what he cannot do by himself, in some ways even if this guy is not a bad guy he becomes somewhat selfish and uses his new little friend to get what he wants unaware of the harm he can do to her. The film was shot in 26 countries, all natural locations, and even if you can consider this a fantasy film in the vein of all these fantasy movies that are coming lately, this one barely uses any special effects.You won´t see talking creatures here, or cgi created worlds, the only effects used here are a very subtle cgi transition from a dead butterfly to the butterfly shaped reef where the five heroes of Walker´s story are stranded at and a claymation sequence used to represent an Alexandria´s nightmare. I read this film has not been sold for distribution yet in any part of the world due to very bad reviews from it´s showing at the Toronto Film Festival which amazes me cause the audience that i saw the film with reacted very well to it. Zoe Bell ( Death Proof ) who was president of the jury at this year´s edition of the Sitges Festival was seated two seats away from me quite enjoyed at least from what i could get from her reactions to the film while it was being shown. And after a press showing really early in the morning there was a lot of buzz around the film. The acting was astounding, specially coming from Lee Pace and Cantica Untaru who had to deal with the most emotionally charged scenes, specially at the end, their onscreen chemistry was incredible and it worked marvelously for the final act which brought the audience almost to tears. This is not The Cell, i mean, you can still feel the commercial and music video background that Tarsem has, he even uses some images from his past commercials in the film like that image of an elephant swimming shot from underneath that he used in one of the coca cola comercials he shot. But, this is a more restrained film that The Cell, the camerawork and the imagery are not as explosive or worked out as in the previous film, is more simple and the lack of visual effects also helps to show this which in my opinion benefits the mood of the film. I hope this gets a distibutor, they say it is a hard sell but i think The Fountain was harder to sell and had a bad critic reception from the press when it came out and it found its audience and became instant cult classic.