The Fall 

Reviewer's grade: B-

At the very least, "The Fall" is a testament to the obsessive nature of creativity. Filmmaker Tarsem Singh ("The Cell") reportedly spent 11 years scouting locations for this adult fairy tale, which eventually entailed shooting in 18 counties over four years and draining millions of dollars from the director's personal finances.

Was the effort worth it? Probably not, but that does not mean "The Fall" is not worthwhile. Disjointed but visually sumptuous, it is set in 1915 Los Angeles and involves a mythical tale that one hospital patient tells another.

The storyteller, Roy (Oklahoma native Lee Pace), is an injured movie stuntman who wants to die. His rapt audience, Alexandria (newcomer Catinca Untaru), is a 5-year-old girl whom Roy hopes will steal him a fatal dose of morphine. It's a morbid premise for a fantastical yarn of love and revenge, but "The Fall" is definitely original. R

"?Phil Bacharach

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