When Tarsem Singh's The Cell was released in 2000, I spent most of my review talking about the way it looked, from the cinematography to the costume design. Eight years later, Tarsem (he's just going by his first name now) has finally made his second film, and it looks like my review of it might be structured the same way.
And why shouldn't it be? The films have a lot in common, both set primarily inside someone's mind, and the new one is only two letters away: It's called The Fall. (Suggested future titles for Tarsem movies: The Bull, The Mill, and The Doll.) The Fall is much lighter fare than the unsettling Cell was, though not without its dark moments, and if its imaginative story isn't exactly brilliant, I'm not concerned. I would be content to merely look at the film all day.
And I like the story, too. It's set in about 1915 at a hospital in Los Angeles, where a despondent stuntman named Roy (Lee Pace) is recovering from a mishap that has left him unable to walk. Scampering around the hospital grounds is Alexandria (Carinca Untaru), a mischievous little girl with a broken arm. She speaks with what sounds to me like an Indian accent, though the actress is Romanian. She meanders into Roy's room one day, and Roy, upon hearing her name, tells her about Alexander the Great. She is so entranced by his yarn-spinning that she wants to hear another. Roy obliges.