- Richard Mowe
- 2 October 2008
Extravagant, self-indulgent, amazing, eye-catching, confusing: the second feature by Tarsem Singh, the Indian-born director who gave us the wacky The Cell with Jennifer Lopez, warrants all these adjectives and more. By the end of it all, you may still have little clue as to what exactly it's about.
On the surface it is a story about a little girl (an incredible performance by Romanian child actress Catinca Untaru) who meets a paralysed stuntman in hospital (Lee Pace). The patient proceeds to relate a colourful tale, all reflected by his state of mind. As time goes by, the boundaries between fiction and reality blur rather alarmingly as we hear the man's words and see the girl's visions.
Purportedly shot in more than 20 different countries this represents a crazily ambitious undertaking. Aided and abetted on the production side by celebrated filmmakers David Fincher and Spike Jonze, who happily put their names above the credits, Singh has created an entrancing universe, all without the assistance of computerised special effects.
The Fall has had a chequered career so far. Finished in 2006 it struggled to find distribution until a buzz started at the Toronto Film Festival two years ago. Now Singh is relishing its undoubted cult status.