My best friend is undoubtedly one of the most interesting people I know, so it came as no surprise when she introduced The Fall to me. At first, I was apprehensive because the recommendation came from the person who made us watch Kung Pow: Enter the Fist as teenagers.
However, the film blew me away and instantly became a movie experience I wanted to share with others for its pure cinematographic beauty. Directed by Tarsem Singh (famously known for The Cell starring Jennifer Lopez), this movie took a total of four years to film, and before that, a long 17 years to scout for the 20-something locations (some credited, some not) that would appear as backdrops in the movie.
The premise is pretty simple: a bedridden and injured stuntman, Roy (played by Lee Pace), befriends a girl with a broken arm, Alexandria (Catinca Utaru), at the hospital they’re both in. Throughout the movie, Roy narrates an outlandish yet epic story of five mythical heroes to the girl, and through the events told, we are taken to some of the world’s most jaw-dropping locations.
Valkenberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa
The story of all the stories told begins at this government-funded psychiatric hospital. Situated in the coastal city of Cape Town, Valkenberg hospital is no ordinary-looking psychiatric centre with its lush landscape and beautiful Spanish slate roofs.
Directly translated, Deadvlei means ‘dead marsh’, and what a fitting name as this clay pan boasts eerily beautiful camel thorn trees that are dead due to lack of water.
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, India
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar, features 19 astronomical instruments, which allows the average Joe to observe the beauty of space with the naked eye.
Lake Palace in Udaipur, India
Once a summer palace for the royals, the Lake Palace boasts black and white marbles and sits right in the middle of Lake Pichola. Its courtyards and gardens were once a place where the Maharana would host beautiful young women and eventually became Udaipur’s first luxury hotel as time went on.
Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this medieval bridge is an architectural marvel that has stood the test of time with over 30 Baroque statues erected along its path. Currently, it’s going through restorations.
Pangong Tso in Ladakh, India and Tibet, China
This magnificent endorheic lake is 134 kilometres long and spans across India and China. The latter is currently constructing a bridge across the lake!
Buland Darwaza, India
A token of victory in history, this magnificent monument stands out for its grand gateway, which is the highest in the world, and rustic colours from the red and buff sandstone.
Taj Mahal in Agra, India
An ivory-white symbol of love, the Taj Mahal is Agra city’s most prized monument and perhaps one of the world’s most famous buildings. It is also another UNESCO World Heritage Site on this list!
Chand Baori in Rajasthan, India
A unique piece of architecture, the Chand Bowri is one of India’s deepest and largest stepwells. With its 3,500 steps, Chand Bowri often serves as a place to draw water and celebrate religious ceremonies.
Blue City in Jodhpur, India
The buildings in the town Mehrangarh Fort are primarily painted in different hues of blue, which coined Jodhpur’s moniker — Blue City. There are many theories as to why the houses are painted blue; and one of them is to keep its residents cool. Which, if you’ve been to India, you’ll know is important!
Fun movie fact: The director felt if special effects were used, the scenes that took place in Blue City would not age well. So in order to make the hues of blue pop more on-screen, he handed out to the villagers fresh blue paint to paint their houses with!
Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy
Built in the 2nd century AD, this ruin is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site but was once a holiday villa for Roman Emperor Hadrian. Spanning over 250 acres in total, Hadrian’s Villa consists of vast lands, fountains, buildings, and pools.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
One of Turkey’s most-visited attractions, the Hagia Sophia has seen itself as a place of worship for many. It began as a church, and as time went on, it became a mosque and museum. Built by the Greeks, it is one of the world’s grandest and most impressive architectural beauties.
Check out the trailer for The Fall below: