The Fall(2006) — An Analysis - Part Two
We all wear our fair share of masks. Some of these masks are more apparent than others. And some of them wind up becoming a part of us. We begin to have trouble distinguishing the masks that we have created for ourselves.
The Fall is about masks. It is about many things, really. And it just so happens to be about masks. The masks that we all wear and use.
Each character in the movie, with the exception of a few, wears a mask. A physical mask, that is. You’ll notice that Governor Odious’s henchmen all wear a mask. And Roy wears a mask quite often. As does The Indian, and that’s because he took a vow to never look at another woman again.
Why do these characters wear masks? Well, you could say that it’s a way of protecting themselves and never truly revealing the contents of their heart.
Yes. That is quite cheesy. And it’s bookended by an equally cheesy line that is given by the fictional persona of Lady Evelyn. Nonetheless, there is great truth in that statement. Great truth.
Notice how the story is used as a kind of mask. Masking Roy’s sadness and inner feelings. How he uses this story as a shield to protect himself from getting too close and as a kind of tool. A tool for manipulating Alexandria to get her to do his bidding. It begins as a mask. It ends not as a mask, but as a connector. A connector between these two people, Roy and Alexandria.
That is the power of stories. Stories have the power to bridge the gap between us. We are all connected through stories. Stories can be masks, but they can also be something much more powerful.
Alexandria is a child. A little girl. And she doesn’t have any masks. Only a physical one that was given to her by a nice man sitting on a bench. As for the more metaphorical kind, she doesn’t have any of those, either. So, she doesn’t have any difficulty revealing who she is. Her emotions aren’t locked up in a bottle. They’re out there in the open. Alexandria doesn’t hide the fact that she cares for Roy. Or that she cares for the people in the story. Notice how she tears up and is completely vulnerable when Roy is telling the story and killing off each character. She has no problem crying and displaying what she is truly feeling.
Roy, on the other hand, cannot do that. Not initially. And so he uses this story to communicate what is in his heart. What his true feelings are. As I said before, it begins as a something designed to manipulate Alexandria into aiding him, it ends as something that bridges the gap between these two people.
We all wear our masks. It’s important to remember that these masks exist. That they aren’t who we are. They are just masks. Personas, if you will. Through stories, we can try on new personas and new identities. Just as Roy and Alexandria did within the world of the story. Roy isn’t really a masked bandit, but in the story he is. Just as Alexandria isn’t really his daughter, but in the story she is. Putting on a new mask or a new set of masks allows us to become someone else. But it also allows us to hide from not just others, but ourselves. We must recognize the masks we wear and become aware of the fact that we aren’t the masks we wear.
However, there is another message that is apparent in the film. By wearing these masks, Roy connects to Alexandria on a much deeper level. Through the mask of the story and his character, they become very close and he is able to heal. By wearing masks, we are able to uncover our true selves.
Some might say this is a contradictory, but I disagree. You see, masks are not inherently good or bad. Just a fact of life. It is what we do with them that matters. And many of us use them to hide ourselves, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We must recognize the nature of the masks that we wear. But also the fact that we can choose what masks to wear and what masks to create for ourselves. That masks can be used for many things. Not just hiding ourselves and protecting ourselves from others. We must become conscious of the fact that we are not our masks, but also that our masks are tools we can use to explore ourselves. It’s a double-edged sword.
Write a story. Write yourself into this story. Not as yourself, but as someone much different. An adventurer. An explorer. Someone like that. Write yourself into the story, and write about adventures and intrigue. Or something else. But it’s important to create a mask that is wildly different from yourself. See what happens. Watch how the masks becomes a part of you. Watch how you slowly begin to uncover pieces of yourself by wearing this mask and telling this story.