27th Aug2015

‘The Falling’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Maxine Peake, Maisie Williams, Florence Pugh, Anna Burnett, Greta Scacchi, Rose Caton, Lauren McCrostie, Katie Ann Knight, Evie Hooton, Monica Dolan, Mathew Baynton, Morfydd Clark | Written and Directed by Carol Morley

the-falling

If there is one thing we know, it’s that growing up isn’t easy. Trying to find your place in the world is one of the hardest things you can do. The Falling is a film about being noticed in a world that doesn’t seem to want you to exist…

Eileen (Maxine Peake) and Lydia (Maisie Williams) are two inseparable best friends, but when tragedy strikes Lydia is left in a world where she is just the strange girl nobody really notices. When a mysterious bout of fainting takes hold in her school it threatens the status quo of the system, with Lydia seen as the ringleader in the chaos.

When watching The Falling there is an offbeat nature that continually makes you feel on edge. At first you are engrossed by the friendship between the intense Eileen and Lydia, and it seems in many ways that Lydia is lost in her friends shadow. Then Eileen is gone and focus is put on the girl that everybody simply ignores. To get attention she has to have something that makes her stand out, which results in other people following her lead.

Whether or not there is a physical cause to the fainting episodes that are focused on in the movie isn’t really important, what is, is Lydia herself. Maisie Williams plays the role as a very annoying spoilt little brat, but in many ways her actions are a cry for help. Always the outsider she fights to be taken notice, with her family life obviously being one of the main reasons she acts as she does. When we finally find out just what the truth is everything starts to make sense.

In some ways I think The Falling could be a Marmite movie because of its offbeat nature. There is a reason the film takes this path, though at times it does tend to feel like it is drifting off into other avenues that aren’t really connected to the tale the film is trying to tell. There are constant hints as to what people think the fainting is caused by, but it never really follows through.

For fans of The Crucible, there are connections within The Falling that make it interesting. This is very much a case similar to the events that caused such chaos in the Salem Witch Trials, though we don’t see any burning at the stake here. What we do see is the story of a girl who only ever felt noticed when her best friend was with her, and when she lost that she had nothing. The Falling is about regaining the thing she had lost, by forcing a series of events that finally reveal a few family truths. In the end this is the beauty of The Falling. You just have to buy into it to finally realise what you are seeing.

The Falling will inevitably catch the eye of fans of Maisie Williams, and quite rightly so. She plays her part well, as does Maxine Peake and the rest of the cast. I find it easy to recommend The Falling to anybody who wants to enjoy an offbeat little movie that keeps its mystery well hidden, even if it feels just a little too odd at times. Keep with it though and you’ll be rewarded in the end.

****½  4.5/5

The Falling is out now in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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