In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
This movie was something else! It really reminds me of that thriller I recently watched with J-Lo: The Cell, and guess what? Same director. Tarsem Singh plays a part in the movie too. I think I've found a new favorite.
Both the cover and plenty of elements within this movie remind of the other. Especially the power of the mind. And that ever-re-occurring desert... it feels homely somehow.
The movie's a fairytale unlike fairytales, that moves between real world and the imagination of the characters therein in an appreciatively spontaneous way, but often goes from the story you wanted to hear to a much darker, and depressingly merciless such.
You feel for Alexandria: the little girl who's there listening, and it comes to the boiling point you'd expect when she slips on a bottle, when Roy's conscience comes into play and they finish the story in a crescendo of tears.
Their chemistry is perfect. Both Catinca Untaru and Lee Pace are so much better than I expected, and Daniel Caltagirone the ever-so villainous. He looks like he always does, but as for the rest I wonder if Tarsem Singh maybe brings out the best in everyone - or is an impeccable judge of character; always chooses the right one for each role.
The sceneries are amazing. You can see they're not all real, that some things are modified, but the way they morph - the way the desert turns to grass, to forest, to jungle - the way the face turns to mountains, the way the guards appear in the Indian water well of old, marching up and down the stairs in unison - it's a work of art.
I love the costumes. I love the authenticity of their reality, and I like the fantasy within their fantasy. I like the bright and beautiful, yet the darkness is appreciative too, in how it seems to says that: this is life. This is what happens. This is the true story.
I bet you won't expect the ending either. Question is: was his name really Roy? Supposedly it's shrouded in mystery. You never know. I feel like Catinca's voice and character changes in the epilogue, as does Roy's (he's not the perfect look-alike), like they're moving to a third world - away from the movie - as if it's a commentary on the movie itself.
If there's anything I didn't really like it's that ending. It breaks the spell.
Well, maybe there was more. Small details I'm sure I noticed but didn't pay much mind, overwhelmed as I was with the good things. The way they spoke. The bonding. The angle of the cast. The story, most of all.
rated 5/5: friggin awesome