Fall at the Festival

Imagine watching The Princess Bride, except almost everyone dies, the bad guy is a violent tyrant and the scenes are played out in some of the most stunning locales in the world. That is but a brief explanation of what watching The Fall is like, the latest film from Tarsem, the Indian-born director of the visually stunning, if disturbing, The Cell.

A sentimental tale of love and loss, The Fall is a story within a story. Roy, played by Lee Pace, is a depressed Hollywood stuntman bedridden and recuperating in hospital who befriends a five-year-old Romanian girl, newcomer Catinca Untaru, who broke her arm picking oranges at her family’s farm. He tells her a fantastic tale, set in the most beautiful locations around the globe, in return for her stealing him morphine from the dispensary.

She and Roy, his back broken after a fall during a daring movie stunt off a train bridge, have a strange symbiotic relationship. She gives him a reason to carry on as he wallows in his condition and the loss of his love who has deserted him. He gives the little girl some much needed companionship as she heals a broken arm and remembers the horrific things that have happened to her family – their house being burnt to the ground, her father being killed. But Roy abuses her trust by using his storytelling to convince her to steal drugs for him as his thoughts turn to suicide. It is a tale of tragedy of death and loss, and lost love disguised as a children's tale. And in the end, the experiences the pair share both hurt and save them.

The film, which made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday, is a travelogue painted in an eye-popping rainbow palate, traversing from India to Bali, South Africa, Romania and too many others to mention. While the real world of the film, set in an austere hospital in Los Angeles has muted shades, the fairytale world is bathed in vibrant swaths of colour. Apparently it was filmed in 23 different countries and following the film Pace said he loved globetrotting for the role. That was the only chance we got to talk to the cast though, as the theatre staff hustled us out at breakneck speed. M0re on that later.


  1. I was excited to hear about this film. I enjoyed "The Cell" and was looking forward to seeing this one. Now I want to see it even more!

    Sorry to hear about the missing Q&A. That's disappointing for sure.

  2. I hope it makes it out to the Vancouver festival. I read today that it is haveing trouble finding a distributor because they don't know how, or who, to market it to.