The film with a rather strange name, which in the original is called much more simply and succinctly – “The Fall” 2006 – did not explode the world box office, did not receive “Oscars” and, it seems, was not even nominated for any serious award. But if you watch it and compare it with many films that have recently been awarded various statuettes, then you will probably say: “And thank God!” Well, if it’s no joke, then this film can be called a masterpiece without a twinge of conscience.
The picture was shot by Tarsem Sinh – a man who was born in Iran, matured in India, and at the age of 24 moved to the United States. A person who is not very well known in the world of modern cinema. Tarsem is mainly involved in filming music videos and commercials, and he does this job very successfully. But the full-fledged film projects that Sinh implemented can be counted on one fingers: these are “The Cage” with Jennifer Lopez, “War of the Gods: Immortals”, “Snow White: Revenge of the Dwarfs”, “Beyond / Myself” with Ryan Reynolds and the recently released television series “Emerald city ”, which did not find wide recognition among the public. And, of course, Outland.
Probably partly due to Tarsem Sinha’s main profile, all of his films are distinguished by a rich, sophisticated, eye-pleasing visual component. And “Outland” in this regard has become almost the apotheosis: in the film, the scenery for each scene, costumes and makeup of the actors are thought out in detail, here literally every cubic centimeter of space works as much as possible to express the thought, idea of every moment.
Long history of making the film
According to the director, he had been hatching the idea of implementing such a project for no less than twelve years. The plot was based on the Bulgarian film “Yo-ho-ho” of 1981, although no one can call “Outland” a remake of this picture: it turned out to be very peculiar, and there is a lot of “synch” in it, infinitely far from the original.
However, the filming process itself required a considerable amount of time. The picture was created for about four years. At the same time, the shooting took place in more than ten countries, in several dozen real locations. For some scenes, artificial scenery was created, but the principle remained the same: only the work of the actors and the film crew, and no special effects and the fashionable chroma screen these days. The filmmakers visited Bali and Rajasthan, worked in the Jantar Mantar labyrinth in Jaipur, filmed some of the scenes in the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden, worked in Rome and Tivoli, visited Constantinople and many other beautiful places and cities.
Lee Pace, Roy Walker and the Black Bandit
Lee Pace is undoubtedly a talented actor, although he has not participated in as many good film projects as he would like. His Ned from Dead on Demand, Michael from Miss Pettigrew Lives One Day, Thranduil from The Hobbit, Joe from Stop and Burn and all the other characters ever played are completely different people. Moreover, even Roy Walker and Outland’s Black Bandit are quite different.
They are both desperate, they both do not see the meaning in life and the light at the end of the tunnel. But if Roy drowned in the abyss of his suffering and thinks only about suicide, then the “Black Bandit” with a team of the same outcast losers is not afraid to act, longs for revenge and finds the strength to fight for his honor. Until the final scenes, in which the story, originally invented only to powder the little girl’s brains, explodes Roy’s own feelings to the fullest.
If you are old enough, then Walker and his story cannot fail to resonate in your heart. And the point here is not in the very reason for his depression as such, but in the feeling of despair and hopelessness. We all sometimes find ourselves in a situation that seems to be a dead end. In a situation where pain becomes our silent companion, and it seems to us that everything is lost. This feeling runs through Roy’s story like a piercing red thread and finds its apotheosis in the cruel deaths of minor characters, frightening the only listener of the story and making her cry. This is something akin to wanting to put pressure on a painful wound to make it even more painful, to cause unbearable pain, after which you can lose the ability to feel anything in principle.
Katinka Untaru and her Alexandria
Katinka Untaru, who played the same ray of light that ultimately helped Roy rise from the bottom, is of Romanian origin, like her heroine. Many comical and not very situations associated with the accent of Alexandria might seem a little strange to you if you watched the film in Russian voice acting. But if you revise it in the original, then the girl’s mistakes will cease to be ridiculous. An additional bonus will be a very pleasant voice of Lee Pace, in the performance of which the story of “Black Bandit” sounds even more interesting.
Alexandria is funny, ridiculous and cute. She opposes Roy’s despair with energy, kindness, responsiveness and an indefatigable will to live. By the way, many of the scenes of interaction of these characters were partly improvised: perhaps that is why they turned out to be so lively and sincere.
Children do not know what darkness and despair are, they do not accept the answer “no”, they do not cease to believe in someone who is attractive and dear to them, they cannot come to terms with the sad order of things. They just live, rejoice and illuminate everything around, and it is very difficult to resist this light. This is that incorruptible, unchanging warmth that is so difficult to find in the company of other adults, and which children share without greed with anyone they like.
“Let him live”
Alexandria has lost her father, and therefore partly sees him in the Roy, but she, in fact, does not require anything from him. Except for one thing: for him to live. More precisely, so that the “Black Bandit” lived, but at the end of the film it becomes partly clear to the girl herself that the point here is not at all in the events of the story told and not in the fictional characters, but in the feelings of Walker himself.
The scene with the crying Roy and the bandaged Alexandria is probably capable of melting the heart of any person. These tears and this desperate “let him live” break through the wall that Walker has erected around him to never see sunlight again and not believe in its existence. The emotions of the characters at this moment are like a collapsed dam, due to a desperate belief in the best on the one hand and recognition of the influence exerted on the other. Games and fairy tales are left behind – only the naked feelings of a child and a man, whom this child gave strength to live on, remain.
The film is distinguished by a clearly high-quality picture, a well-thought-out story, colorful and superbly played characters, and even uses a technique beloved by many critics, when roles in the imaginary world are played, among other things, by minor characters from the real world. However, he is very peculiar, and after the premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006, there were practically no positive reviews in the press. Because of this, the movie was released only in 2008, and even then in a limited one. And this, in fact, is all you need to know about contemporary film critics and film awards – you should not be guided by them when choosing what to watch. You might miss out on something really great.