I recently re-watched one of my favourite films of the last few years – The Fall. Partly as a comparison I also ended up re-watched Pan’s Labyrinth around the same time. Whilst there’s a lot to distinguish these films from each other they’re both based on a similar premise of combining a real world drama with a fantasy world as viewed through the eyes of a child.
I’ll admit straight away that Pan’s Labyrinth is probably the better film. Its very well constructed, and interestingly realised, and probably has a really significant depth to its symbolism, and how it all relates to ideas of freedom in the Spanish civil war. But in spite of this, at times it still felt to me like I was watching two separate films.
The Fall on the other hand combines its two worlds far more comfortably. And whilst it does have many flaws, it makes up for them just through it’s sheer decadence of beautiful cinematography and amazing locations (underpinned by the mesmerising 2nd movement of Beethoven 7). Add to this a wonderful meandering story and a charming 6-year-old and you have a film that I would really encourage everyone to see.