The plot revolves around a little girl, age 5, by name of Alexandria (Catinca Untaru). This is one of the most believable and amazing performances I have seen by a young child. It reminded me of the equally great performance found in the french film Ponette.
“Cand iti spui povestea, schimbi mereu cate ceva, iar persoana din fata ta face parte la fel de mult din poveste ca si tine”, spune Tarsem. El mai adauga ca adaptarea povestii la asteptarile audientei este un procedeu interzis artei cinematografice, caci filmul ajunge la public intr-o forma in care nu mai poate fi modificat. Dar, intr-un fel, tocmai aceasta ii reuseste lui Tarsem in The Fall. Mama Catincai spune: “Cred ca ceea ce l-a facut sa o aleaga a fost faptul ca fetitei mele ii place sa se lupte pentru lumile de poveste pe care si le construieste. Trebuie sa fi vazut in ea copilaria intruchipata. Eu cred ca acesta este si mesajul filmului: copilul din tine te poate salva”.
Catinca si-a pus amprenta in mod decisiv asupra acestui film in care romana se amesteca adesea cu engleza si i-a lasat o amintire de nesters originalului si nonconformistului Tarsem. “Si acum mai cant uneori la dus: Beautiful masina! Beautiful masina!”, marturiseste el.
“Ceea ce imi place la Catinca este ca nu e afectata de vedetism, iar eu nu i-am impus sa-si schimbe felul ei natural de a fi. Nu vreau sa o oblig sa devina actrita. Are un potential infinit. Poate fi orice si trebuie sa devina ce vrea ea sa devina. De un lucru sunt insa si gura: va alege o ocupatie creativa”, spune mama ei, Ruxandra Kaitar.
Read more : Muza la 7 ani
“At this point in reviews of movies like “The Fall” (not that there are any), I usually announce that I have accomplished my work. I have described what the movie does, how it looks while it is doing it, and what the director has achieved. Well, what has he achieved? “The Fall” is beautiful for its own sake. And there is , who may have been dubbed for all I know, but speaks with the innocence of childhood, working her way through tangles of words. She regards with equal wonder the reality she lives in, and the fantasy she pretends to. It is her imagination that creates the images of Roy’s story, and they have a purity and power beyond all calculation. Roy is her perfect storyteller, she is his perfect listener, and together they build a world.
Ebert notes: The movie’s R rating should not dissuade bright teenagers from this celebration of the imagination. ”
Pace and especially Untaru are mesmerizing in their roles. In reading about The Fall, I’ve discovered that Singh actually tricked Untaru–who was too young to take direction–into delivering much of her performance, filming when she wasn’t aware that the cameras were rolling. This doesn’t make her showing here any less perfect. Untaru, with her chubby face and big eyes, delivers for me the single best bit of acting of 2008. And Pace is nearly her equal! Their funny, quirky, emotional scenes together are unforgettable
Supporting would be the correct word. Alexandria is a role that could easily make or break “The Fall”. The role was so important, as a matter of fact, that when Tarsem Singh found out that Catinca believed Lee Pace to actually be unable to walk he just went with it… for everyone. Just about everyone working on “The Fall” believed him to be a paraplegic. Watching the film with this piece of information helps one understand the depth of sincerity in Alexandria’s empathy… Well, it also helps that she is absolutely, positively, a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e.
The emotional challenges presented to Catinca in what follows are incredible. I was in awe at the ability she shows to stand up under such pressure. The battle of Roy, the battle for us to simultaneously comfort Alexandria and to still “tell the story” in all of its rawness is overwhelming. Her performance is, in a word: brave
Alexandria will be with me for the rest of my life, because she showed me the true power of a child’s imagination. This power is often understood, but equally as much underestimated. It has great potential and great danger. “The Fall” looks it full in the face and doesn’t blink.
Catinca Untaru, then eight, plays the little girl in Tarsem’s visual masterpiece The Fall, and is told legends by a wounded soldier, which she translates into her own fantasies. She embodies a purity, a naivete and an affectless beyond description. You can’t understand why she is so perfect. Then you discover that she didn’t even speak English, and is speaking after phonetic coaching. Her impact transcends language
Child actors amaze
Roger Ebert, Universal Press Syndicate
Published: Thursday, November 27, 2008
Top 10 Movies
1. The Dark Knight
4. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
5. Rachel Getting Married
6. Iron Man
7. In Bruges
10. Funny Games
Top 10 Actors
1. Colin Farrell in IN BRUGES
2. Javier Bardem in VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
3. Hugh Jackman in AUSTRALIA
4. Ed Harrs in APPALOOSA
5. Robert Downey, Jr. in IRON MAN
6. Lee Pace in THE FALL
7. Christian Bale in THE DARK KNIGHT
8. Steve Coogan in HAMLET 2
9. Daniel Craig in QUANTUM OF SOLACE
10. Ryan Phillipe in STOP-LOSS
Top 10 Actresses
1. Sally Hawkins in HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
2. Anne Hathaway in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
3. Angelina Jolie in CHANGELING
4. Nicole Kidman in AUSTRALIA
5. Rebecca Hall in VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
6. Naomi Watts in FUNNY GAMES
7. Scarlett Johansson in VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
8. Meryl Streep in MAMMA MIA!
9. Catinca Untaru in THE FALL
10. Ellen Page in SMART PEOPLE
Top 10 Supporting Actors
1. Heath Ledger in THE DARK KNIGHT
2. Robert Downey, Jr. in TROPIC THUNDER
3. Eddie Marsan in HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
4. Michael Pitt in FUNNY GAMES
5. Brandon Walters in AUSTRALIA
6. Viggo Mortensen in APPALOOSA
7. Jason Butler Harner in CHANGELING
8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in STOP-LOSS
9. Tom Cruise in TROPIC THUNDER
10. John Malkovich in CHANGELING
Top 10 Supporting Actresses
1. Penelope Cruz in VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
2. Rosemarie DeWitt in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
3. Amy Ryan in CHANGELING
4. Abbie Cornish in STOP-LOSS
5. Clemence Poesy in IN BRUGES
6. Ari Graynor in NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST
7. Debra Winger in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
8. Alexis Zegerman in HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
9. Renee Zellweger in APPALOOSA
10. Olga Kurylenko in QUANTUM OF SOLACE
Catinca Untaru is an astounding find: She spoke no English before filming commenced and her command of the language is shaky at best in the film, but the key this Romanian actress’ performance in her limitless spirit and how she so effortlessly captures her character’s incorruptibility and childlike passions for escaping the world around her that she does not understand. She attains such an untamed purity and cheerfulness with Alexandria that makes her later scenes involving her self-awareness to Roy’s plight all the more tragic and sad. Just look at one tear-jerking moment between herself and Roy where she lays bandaged up in a hospital bed after an errand for him goes afoul. This instance, where both characters experience positive growth through dire circumstances, is phenomenally simple in execution compared to the rest of the film: It’s THE FALL’s most tender and unforgettable moment.
c r a i g j. k o b a n
The Fall is a very emotionally powerfull film that some will find depressing, troubling, and possibly confusing at times. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz meets Brazil. Break-out star Catinca Untaru was amazing, and her performance was Oscar worthy big time!!!
I will say this, The Fall does have amazing visuals, and a satisfying ending, one that makes you believe in the power of a good story, and the faith of hope.