Sinner’s review published on Letterboxd:
☠ "What a mystery this world. One day you love them and the next day you want to kill them a thousand times over." ☠
I discovered The Fall through an IMDB List that was on Surreal and Visual Movies. Surreal? Perhaps a little. Visual? Most definitely. The Fall is mainly about a child’s imagination coming to life while she listens to a wild story from a man in a hospital.
What makes this film so great is the writing and the visuals/photography. The interactions between Alexandria, a 5 year old girl, and Roy, the man at the hospital are so fluid, organic and very real. Often times, children’s lines are very “cutesy” and tend to be forgettable. Not Alexandria. Her dialogue shows off her playfulness and innocence magnificently. I can’t divulge much on Roy’s mannerisms as it would spoil the plot for you so let’s move onto the visuals and the imagination sequences.
10 minutes in, you’re already getting, literally, a sample of Roy’s storytelling with Alexandria’s imagination in play with a stand-alone story about Alexander the Great. This scene lasted probably 5 minutes but the costume design and setting was so wild, you’d think it was preparing you for the rest of the movie; it’s nothing. Without going into plot or character details, The Fall is surprisingly similar to Wizard of Oz. The normal people in Alexandria’s life appear in her imagination world as exotic and unique characters among each other. I do have to spoil one character since I thought it was hilarious; Charles Darwin serves as the “mind” of the group. What, I enjoy a bit of theory about life and the natural order of things!
The movie’s pacing and mood is amazingly dynamic and had me fooled from the get go. The beginning parts of the imagination had incredibly cheesy music playing and the characters did very cartoony actions with silly lines and screams of revenge. I had thought the whole story was going to be like this. I was very wrong.
As the movie progressed, so did the mental state of Roy, which altered the overall mood of the story he was telling. Enemies were getting brutally killed, there were hangings, lots of blood and lots more “darker” elements slowly replacing what I thought was a child’s imagination. Near the end, for reasons I won’t disclose, the characters suffer and their world becomes gritty and filled with terror. This is what made The Fall such a magnificent watching; the way the storytelling transitioned from happy-happy to utter despair and hopelessness.
The Fall verdict in one sentence: The Fall features an insane imagination roller-coaster ride intertwining child’s innocence to the darkest corners of the adult’s states of mind.