In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
At a Los Angeles hospital in the 1920s, Alexandria is a child recovering from a broken arm. She befriends Roy Walker, a movie stunt man with legs paralyzed after a fall. At her request, Roy tells her an elaborate story about six men of widely varied backgrounds who are on a quest to kill a corrupt provincial governor. Between chapters of the story, Roy inveigles Alexandria to scout the hospital's pharmacy for morphine. As Roy's fantastic tale nears its end, Death seems close at hand. Written by
Singh shot the hospital scenes with Catinca Untaru in chronological order. As filming progressed over the course of six weeks, she grew taller and her English improved, like her character would have in real life. She also lost her two front baby teeth right before shooting began, so filming in sequence allowed for the continuity of the gap between her teeth to remain consistent. See more »
As Otta Benga is carrying Alexandria away from where Governor Odious' men are killing the Mystic, there is an overhead shot in which the viewer can clearly see Odious' men purposefully missing the Mystic with their kicks and stomps, so as not to injure the actor. See more »
I saw this film in the Toronto Film Festival and was somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and the extent to which I was engaged in the reality that it creates. Catinca Untaru's performance is heartwarming and completely captivating, a truly lovable child-star whose appeal is based upon her authenticity and talent as opposed to her ability to bat her eyelids or wrinkle her nose. Her relationship with Roy (Lee Pace) is touching to behold and more importantly, entirely believable. Of course, as expected with Tarsem Singh as a director the film is visually stunning, featuring Baraka-like eye candy, which in itself deserves rave reviews and as a subsidiary to the story creates something quite spectacular. The use of worldwide locations allowed Tarsem to share some truly beautiful images with the viewers, and teamed with Catinca's acting left the audience as putty in his hands, laughing and crying as he wished.
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