The Fall

Rated 4.0

An ambitious inversion of Scheherazade and her story-weaving effort to stay alive, this is the sophomore return to the screen for former video director Tarsem Singh, who created some waves a few years back with the serial-killer chic entry The Cell. This time around, the sumptuous photography and magic realism is applied in a more user-friendly manner than the slice-’n’-dicing of horses. A silent film-era Hollywood hospital serves as the launching pad for the loosely connected vignettes of a broken stuntman slowly weaving a tapestry of tales for a young immigrant he shares a hospital ward with in exchange for the means to end his own sorry story. But due to a failure to communicate, the stories translate themselves into a collaborative effort between the two. Four years in the making and spanning the globe in its settings, The Fall is a rich visual experience, but ultimately suffers from an empathetic distance due to the emphasis on style. So much eye candy grows tiring as it hiccups toward the closing reel. But it is, nonetheless, very, very spectacular and unique.