A movie to “Fall” for

The FallI watched a movie tonight after reffing my roller derby bout. It is neither new nor a blockbuster, but my spider sense was tingling from the description. It is called “The Fall”, and has the involvement of Tarsem Singh, with his questionably spotty history as a director, and brought to us by one Mr Spike Jonez, known more for cutting-edge music videos that groundbreaking movies. I was not only less that disappointed, I was blown away in a way reserved for only the finest of media, raising this movie to the echelon shared by the likes of Zhang Yimou’s “Curse of the Golden Flower”, Faith No More’s “Angeldust”, and Gustave Moreau’s “Salome Dancing Before Herod”. The movie plays like a modern retelling of “The Princess Bride”, if it were set as a tragedy told in dark desperation. The narrator is duplicity and despair personified, and the young French girl listening is the naivety and hope in all of us. The visuals are heart-stoppingly stunning, more so considering the lack of special effects in the film. Every location, shot, and scene was carefully crafted from the beauty already existent in this world, like Michelangelo discovering the beauty hiding within a block of granite. The story is riveting, engaging each ventricle of the heart until tears spontaneously erupt under the pressure of the acting chops of an exceptionally talented nine-year-old girl. With the visual kaleidoscope of “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, the tragic heart of “Hero”, and as endearing as “Amélie”, this movie is a an underestimated powerhouse of sad beauty. Will hope prevail over despair? Will the fairy tales of a disconsolate man save them both, or bring them shared doom? What is the ultimate power of imagination when used to create or destroy? It isn’t on Netflix, so use whatever means you have available to locate and watch this. Kill if you have to. You will not regret it.