FILM REVIEW: The Falling

I’m sure ‘The Falling’ all made sense and was suitably bewitching and mysterious inside writer / director Carol Morley’s own head, but there’s no evidence that it travelled the relatively short journey from big screen to my brain at all well. I’m still rather baffled by it all.

Not that it was a particularly complicated plot or that it was directed in such a manner that it left too much to the imagination; it wasn’t and it didn’t. It just never really got going, or seemed to get to where it needed to be for that matter.

The story revolves principally around two main characters, Abbie and Lydia, both of whom are students at a strict, 1960s all-girls school. They share the closest of friendships. Abbie, the more attractive and outgoing of the two, is beginning to explore her sexuality, and when she loses her virginity in the back of some boy’s car, it’s hard for Lydia to cope with, but it’s the beginning of a chain of contagious, occult-like happenings which are of far more concern.

Before we know it, Abbie, then Lydia and eventually the whole school are fainting, convulsing and generally showing signs of some kind of possession, much to the horror of the rather disciplinarian, old-fashioned teaching staff.

Is the cause of such demonic occurrences somehow linked to Lydia’s house-bound mother? Perhaps her work-shy brother has had a hand in things in some way, or maybe even Lydia herself is the cause of it all?

It’s hard to care in all honesty.

Lydia herself (Maisie Williams), it should be said, makes a brave effort to carry the film’s flimsy script and rather apathetic direction, but it’s simply a film of far too many flaws and failings.

One such flaw is the relentless fits of fainting; they actually induced far more fits of laughter from the audience than concern or shock. Perhaps that was the point, I don’t know. Certainly the whole thing was so hammed up and ridiculous, it quickly resembled an overly-enthusiastic, girls’ sixth form amateur dramatics class.

In fairness, it’s actually not a bad idea for a film and it could have probably worked slightly better in the right director’s hands.

Perhaps a further viewing would clarify some of this muddled tale of teenage hormones and shady goings on, but as it stands, it feels painfully long, drawn-out and generally lacking in purpose and point. A real ‘watch-checker’ of a film.

Maybe I missed the point; it happens.

Not one I’d be in any sort of hurry to recommend.


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