The film I have chosen to analyse is The Fall. The Fall was written and directed by a man named Tarsem Singh and was released in June 2008 in just nine screens in the USA. The film is an adventure fantasy set in Los Angeles in the 1920’s, a young immigrant girl finds herself in a hospital recovering from a fall. An unlikely friendship rises between her and a bedridden stuntman who captivates and takes her on a whimsical story that takes them away from the lethargies of the hospital into a cinematic spectacle of their joint imaginations.
He uses her naivety as a selfish tool as her only hope is to finish the tale. I have chosen a scene which is 40 minutes into the film where the tale is rapidly unwinding. There are five men on a hunt to find the evil Odious and have found themselves lost in a beautiful desert and here they uncover their essential directions. The setting is a vast desert with nothing in sight apart from the many dunes that appear neverending, the men appear insignificant to their surroundings as the establishing shot is a wide angle of three of the men quite a distance away from each other.
Walt Purdy, a man dressed in a extravagant yellow coat is mounted on his horse on the right, whilst Darwin and the mystic are at the back of the shot on the left. These positions of the characters symbolise their current situation, lost and alone in the vast wilderness by creating a sense of unimportance in comparison with the expanse of the desert. A close up of Walt Purdy reveals their nerves as he chews on the end of his cigar as he knows it is his last one. This prop is a key to understanding their prediciment, as we can take from this how their supplies are running out.
Lighting and colour is important in this scene as we see the light adapting to the mood of the men. The scene starts with high-key lighting representing that until something bad occurs nothing can harm them, but alas the mystic eats the map which is poisenous and runs to a hidden grass area. Darwin, dressed in a loud and oversized red coat follows, scrambling through the tall grass to keep up. A birds eye angle shot of this draws attention to the slow speed of Darwin as the contrasting colours of the vibrant green grass and the distance between the dark skinned mystic and Darwins red coat.
This enhances the feeling of helplessness the men are enduring. Darwins facial epressions depicts worried emotions which turns into anger, at this point we begin to understand the palette of colours as we feel a sense of colour symbolosim creeping through the iconic red coat representing fury and a passion for venegence. The mystic suddently sounds a calling through his shell which results in Darwins body language to be rigid and afraid allowing the audience to also feel fear, shadows start to loom and a darkness starts to build.
The colour of the dark-skinned mystic doesn’t seem significant anymore as an arc shot shows dozens of mystics arising from the mud forming a supportive circle around him. This is a pivotal point in this clip as the mystics arise plastered in dark mud as they swarm around the fallen ill mystic. There is a long shot of Darwin from a safe distance away looking confused this cuts into a Darwins point of view shot and the lighting has dramatically transformed into low-key lighting.
Shadows cut across as the camera pans back round to the mystics keeping close to the 180° rule as the audience see their dark figures huddled together bearing a resemblance to West African dancers as they melodically begin to chant and drum. Themes of spirituality have hardy been addressed yet so it is new to the audience and the characters. The use of Darwin’s stiff posture and the shadowing that encircles the mystics symbolises how when introduced to new people and situations the majority of us are afraid.
This is important as it reflects back to the hospital where stuntman Roy is telling young Alexandria this story, using his own life as an underlying storyline. It is important to highlight the mise en abyme as the narration is not always present due to the fictional factors of Roy’s story as Alexandria is unaware of the silent metaphors and personification of the characters. This brings us back to the cigar end that Walt nervously chews on as he craves for more, this is a metaphor for Roy’s unhealthy need for morphine and for the lack of control Roy has over his life now he is confined to his bed.
The mud men appear forceful yet enthusiastic with their ferocious dancing leading Darwin to understand they are actually providing directions. The mud appears to be drying on their faces turning to a white crust and the sun starts to appear bouncing off their dry faces which represents the mood transition. It is relief and is mirrored by the bold colour contrasts between green and yellow sand dunes once again, the two most refreshing colours.
Cite this Film Analysis of ‘the Fall’
Film Analysis of ‘the Fall’. (2016, Oct 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/film-analysis-of-the-fall/