Aydin, as a man well into his years, still harbours the wounds and accompanying bitterness of love lost. As a teenager, he found love with his middle-aged boxing trainer, Asher (Michael Shanahan), only to lose him after a period of blissful passion. Thus goes the story of Shannon Anderson’s The Fall.
This story he relates to Tobias (Charlie Craig), a young man with a podcast to fill, currently interviewing people on the subject of love. The Titanic reference (A hasty prompt from Tobias, met with a curt Are you telling the story or am I, Mr. Fischer?) is corny. The flashback that ensues has a dazed quality to it, events passing by in a languid, almost delicate, slideshow; although Aydin’s (John Brumpton) narration provides context and exposition, the visuals are distinctly personal, meant for Aydin’s gaze only, and why there is almost no dialogue in the happier parts of the memory. When ugly tragedy comes, the memory becomes a raw, pulsing wound. Sebastian Torero, who plays the teenage Aydin, brings naked emotion to the character as Asher breaks up with him citing their difference in age.
The screenplay is, if not weak, predictable. Its pensive mood is undone by unoriginal dialogue. Even as Aydin begins to narrate the tale, the conclusion becomes obvious. The journey to get to that point too is unsurprising. Dialogue throughout remains artificial and lacking depth or much substance, with a few good moments of nuance here and there. A lot of The Fall’s watchability comes down to its performances. Torero especially is good (there is an echo of David Kross’ performance from The Reader). Their breakup is an improvement on the overall quality of the screenplay. It feels real, despite dialogue that we have all heard before. Little gestures, like reaching out for Asher’s hand while searching for his chain, is authentic and affecting.
The concluding flashback is a nice touch. Despite the clumsiness of the preceding scene, it closes on a bittersweet note, and without which there would have been no closure for the audience.#ShortFilmReview: The Fall: What characterises teenage better than intense passion? Click To Tweet
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