The Fall (2006)— An Analysis — Part Three
We come to the end of this little trilogy. Our final chapter isn’t intended to analyze a single element, but rather to cover some of the things that I may have missed.
We’ve talked about the masks. About the stories. About how we are all connected through stories and entangled in each others lives as actors. But, how does this relate to the overall work that is The Fall.
In a way, it doesn’t. Not inherently. For art is subjective and you must find your own meaning and craft your own interpretation of a work of art. That said, most works of art are crafted with a few interpretations and meanings in mind. Don’t think, however, that this means there is one right answer. If that were the case, Tarsem Singh would have told us all about it. Instead, as most artists prefer to do, he has left this slate of interpretation blank. That way, we can create our own meaning and our own thoughts.
This ties into the final meaning of this work. Through the creation of art, and through the consumption of art, we become the artist. Alexandria begins not as a mere listener, but as a creator. By listening to the story that Roy fashions, she invests it with her own imagination and her own meaning. For example, during the part where Roy tells the story of “The Indian”, he mentions that The Indian was married to the most beautiful “squaw” in the world. Squaw is a word that refers to an American Indian woman. Not a woman from India. This is just one example, out of many, that comes to the fore. As Alexandria does not know what a squaw is and has never seen an American Indian — or maybe she has — she imagines this character as someone from India. Or, as seen near the end of the movie, a man that she thinks is from India.
Art is not a one-way journey. Much like a book, we invest ourselves in the stories that we read and watch and listen to. The good ones become a part of us. A part of ourselves. That is what The Fall did to me. It became a part of me. My experience is unique, in that I saw things that others did not. Many won’t see the things that I saw, and that’s okay. That is the nature of art. The nature of stories. We are all participants in the creation of art and stories. Just as we are all participants in the lives of others.
Sometimes, these roles are small. Other times, we become very important participants in the lives of others and in the creation of art. Just as Alexandria became a major participant in the creation of the story. Going so far as to insert herself into the story and radically altering certain events. Such as the — at the time — inevitable death of Roy at the hands of Governor Odious. Because of her presence in the story and the extent in which she had invested herself in both the story and Roy’s life, she was able to alter the story and create a new meaning for both Roy and herself.
In the end, The Fall is a superb film. One with many layers and many complex ideas. But those aren’t really important. What is important is that The Fall is a tender and human story about two people and the power of love and art. For that reason, I highly recommend that. Oh, and the movie is also a visual delight. That’s another reason to give it a watch if you haven’t already.