The Fall


I’m all for progress, don’t get me wrong — I want things to be smaller, faster, thinner, higher, brighter, bigger, stronger with every passing day — but I’ve never liked Blu-ray.1  This is due to the protracted dispute between HD-DVD and Blu-ray,2 and its attempt to replace DVDs, just as the general population had come to understand DVDs.  Even my grandma can use a DVD now.  It can be frustrating to be constantly explaining new technology to the general population so it’s been nice having a decent standard for video that everyone understands, as CDs have been for music. 

Then along comes Blu-ray3 and HD-DVD, who fight for a couple of years, thus prolonging general acceptance while everyone sits on the fence.  Would it have been so hard to come up with a unified standard?  That didn’t have the name Blu-ray?4 If there’s going to be a change, I’d like it to be quick.

Finally, I’ve found a film that makes Blu-ray5 worthwhile.  The difference in quality between Blu-ray6 and DVD is not as significant as the difference between DVD and VHS, so it is difficult to justify the extra cost of a new player and more expensive discs.  That is until I saw The Fall. It is a gorgeous film with spectacular scenery and landscapes and fabulous costumes.

It is also a whimsical film, in the style of The Princess Bride, but without the annoying boy. Set in the twenties, Roy (Lee Pace) is an injured stuntman, who amuses a fellow invalid, Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), with a wild story of bandits seeking to remove the evil Governor Odious. The tale, while told by Roy, is seen through Alexandria’s eyes with her own hilarious changes and misunderstandings added in. It starts out light, but grows darker as Roy, deals with depression and loss.

Catinca is amazing as Alexandria. Unlike Macaulay Culkin or Dakota Fanning, she’s doesn’t try to act.  She is just herself. She mangles her lines and goes off topic as a normal kid would. She fidgets and she doesn’t sit still.  Lee Pace does an amazing job of steering the conversation in the right direction. So while the dialog can be awkward and meandering, it does sound natural and Catinca is adorable.

The Fall was filmed over four years and in 28 countries and was funded by the director, Tarsem Singh, by piggy-backing the filming onto his work directing music videos and commercials. It also contains no computer-generated special effects. Even if you don’t see the film, it is hard to find, at least look at the pretty pictures.

  1. Don’t forget the hyphen, otherwise Blu-ray looks a lot like blurry
  2. “Hi Andrew, this is your mother calling.”
  3. “Hi Mum, what’s up?”
  4. “I’ve bought a blurry dvd, but the dvd player won’t play it.  Can you fix it?”
  5. “A blurry DVD?”
  6. “Maybe it’s pronounced Bluh Ray. I’ve got a Bluh Rays DVD.”

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