An epic tale of love and revenge
Why do we watch movies? I mean, isn't it amazing that we pay to go in a dark room filled with strangers to watch representations of made up stories? A while ago we were talking about the importance of literature and, if you think about it, people have been telling stories since the beginning of time. Why? Is it escapism, a past-time, or something more?
Last week I was looking for a movie to watch. I wanted something good, I was sick of watching lame movies that I couldn't talk about here. So I looked for a recommendation in IMDB’s users' "best movies" lists. The Fall appeared in many of those lists. I hadn't heard of this movie before, but the trailer sold it to me.
As you can gather from the trailer, a man and a little girl are both in a hospital. She has a big imagination and he is depressed – a dangerous combination. He starts telling her this incredible story and she is hooked. But he’ll only continue telling her the story if she steals morphine for him.
The Fall makes you feel like a child again and few movies can do that - even among kids' movies. Suddenly you're on the edge of your seat because you want to know what's going to happen next. And there will come a point where you have no idea what's going to happen next. That's exactly what kids (and I) want: a story to care about.
Plus, the movie answers those questions above. In two different ways, actually. First off, we like stories (whether they're movies, books or the ones we tell ourselves using our imagination), because they are better than reality. And by better, I mean more attractive, more exciting and more stimulating.
Just by the trailer you get a sense of how beautiful the movie is. Every shot is as perfect as a painting. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like seeing The Fall in the movies and not from my small notebook screen. Everything from the costumes, to the soundtrack, to the locations, to the names, to the characters' back stories is... grandiose.
Alexandria and Roy would rather be on an exciting quest in a desert island than in a hospital ward with people coughing, crying and dying all around you.
However, it's not like they are involved in the story just to escape their lives. The Bandit's story isn't all fiction. Roy’s story works like a dream, it's almost as if he's daydreaming. In the same way that happens in dreams, every character in his story is a part of his own self. And of Alexandria’s self too, because she sneaks into the story.
They come up with the story using elements of their real lives, nothing is made up from nowhere. Every character is represented by a person they now. Aspects of their experiences are part of the fictional story (the licking of the ice, for example).
This is where the line between reality and fiction gets blurry. Their being absorbed in the story is not totally escapism. Through their stories they are figuring out their own lives and feelings. In the story, they re-enact previous (real) experiences, invent the ones they wished happened in real life, and ultimately define their future. Remember I said that the story is better than reality? It's also because Roy has total control of the story whereas he only has some control over his reality.
It’s even funny how incoherent the story can get, because it changes all the time to adapt their particular psychological needs of the moment. In a very funny dialogue, the Masked Bandit swears to destroy Governor Odious and "every Spanish thing". Alexandria asks: "Wasn't he Spanish?". Roy, momentarily confused, answers: "Noooo. He was French". And the story goes on as if nothing had happened. There's no mistakes in the story. He calls the shots. Depending on what he needs, the story changes and this is why it goes from revenge, to love, to sadness.
The ending is truly brilliant and I won’t even say anything so you can have a big surprise when you watch it. See how the movie is compelling towards storytelling? It’s even making me writing a review without spoilers
Have you seen The Fall? What did you like the most about it?