Monday, 26 October 2015

The Falling

Year: 2015
Director: Carol Morley
Screenplay: Carol Morley
Starring: Maxine Peake, Maisie Williams, Florence Pugh

Synopsis is here:

Shades of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) linger within Carol Morley’s wispy mystery The Falling. Nevertheless, this is a compelling piece which finds its own way. It does so with a similar dreamy abstruseness as Peter Weir’s seminal feature, all the while holding a comparable sense of rebellion that made Lindsay Anderson’s If(1968). Although it is not as forcible.

The Falling’s allure stems from its main conceit. In which an epidemic of falling fits occurs throughout a rural Catholic school. Is it a group exploration into grief? A sudden, unified event of mass hysteria? Whatever it may be, the source seems to stem from the troubled Lydia (Maisie Williams), whose admiration and envy of her former best friend; Abbie (Florence Pugh) causes an inner turmoil that becomes difficult to repress.

The Falling is an often gorgeous accumulation of anxiety and sensuality. It doesn’t pull the emotional chords as well as Morley’s heart-breaking 2011 documentary Dreams of a Life. However, Morley’s eye for evocative visuals and dreamy transitions, along with her ability to coax much from the seemingly minor details of trembling hands and teasing looks, creates a palpable and lingering tension out of a strange and beguiling mystery.