Tarsem Singh's The Fall: Keeping It Real

Tarsem Singh's visually rich movie The Fall is The Princess Bride on acid . . . on acid, steroids, meta-amphetamines, crack, psilocybin, and-- most significantly-- morphine; it is morphine that fuels the double plot of this frame tale, set in the 1920's in a hospital where a depressed, desperate, and seriously injured stunt-man tells fantastic stories to a little girl in order to persuade her to steal morphine pills for him . . . something else the movie has in common with The Princess Bride is that it uses no digital effects to produce its wonders: Singh traveled the world (the film is shot in 28 different countries) to find the exotica in the film: the intricate forts and castles, the sweeping deserts, the scenic islands and floating palaces, the labyrinthine villages, barren mountains, and verdant jungles are all real . . . you can look them up on Orbitz and go visit them; despite all this spectacular imagery, the story isn't as touching or enthralling as that of The Princess Bride, but the movie is worth watching simply for the images . . . I give it nine swimming elephants out of a possible ten.

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