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Falling (I) (2008)

 -  Drama  -  2008 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 61 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 2 critic

Drama chronicling the tragic mental and spiritual collapse of a Hollywood videographer.

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Title: Falling (2008)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Eric Boyle
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Davey Boyle
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Lorena
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Ruiz
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Marc
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Marvin
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Linda
Frank Uzzolino ...
Hector
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Casting Director
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Casting Assistant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mario Aguilar Jr. ...
Memo
Keith Bisset ...
Sandy
Brian Carter ...
Guitar Player
John Cragen ...
Tim
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Secretary
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Storyline

Drama chronicling the tragic mental and spiritual collapse of a Hollywood videographer.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, bloody images and language
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2008 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on writer/director/main actor Richard Dutcher personal religious struggles. See more »

Connections

Edited from God's Army (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Having a form of tragedy, but denying the power thereof.
28 April 2012 | by (Salt Lake City, Utah) – See all my reviews

In the interest of full disclosure: I'm a devout Mormon and was sad when Richard Dutcher, erstwhile director/writer/actor in the LDS-themed film world, left the faith a few years back. His Brigham City is one of my favorite films and both it and his States of Grace are part of my (small) DVD collection. I routinely push them on friends in an effort to win him converts. I remember my dismay as I watched his groundbreaking God's Army followed closely by a host of moronic LDS-themed movies, from melodramatic adaptations of Jack Weyland romance novels to lame Mormon vanity comedies. These throwaway films, crashing down the Mormon film trail Dutcher blazed, often made much more money than did his films. And so when we see his screenwriter character in Falling repeatedly selling out to fund his worthier aspirations, we can perhaps understand the real-life source of that disillusionment. The public is generally uninterested in difficult, thought-provoking films and Dutcher and his character in Falling have learned that the hard way. I knew this was a theme of the film, and walked into the theater inclined toward sympathy.

But this film is in some ways a unfunny caricature of difficult, thought-provoking films. I went in knowing that this was an especially dark departure from Dutcher's former work, but expecting it to at least be honest. I'm very selective about the violent films I see, and based on his former work I felt I could trust Dutcher to make the all darkness in his film relevant. I was disappointed in that: in its attempt to be gritty and world-wise, the movie becomes the very sensationalist gore fest it is criticizing. Maybe the over-the-top violence was intended partially as irony (pointing back to a meeting Dutcher's character has with a cynical film producer), but if so, it is an exceptionally dark irony, and in my opinion, ineffective.

This is largely because the story plays out with all the subtlety of a morality play or Greek tragedy: in some ways satisfying in its symmetry and poetic justice, but hardly creating in me a connection to the characters that would have moved the experience beyond catharsis to real empathy and sorrow. Their former goodness is very faintly drawn, and their cold attachment to their respective ambitions is quite pronounced from the start, and consequently brief flashbacks to a brighter past (and a heartwarming interlude at the Los Angeles LDS temple) were not sufficient for me to accept the idea that there was much real curse-the-gods tragedy in their stories--just garden variety vanity and stupidity turned bloody by an unfortunate entanglement with violent street gangs.

I am also tired of filmmakers trying to push their artistic journeys as heart wrenching tales of the Everyman. While my life is enriched by excellent filmmaking (including some of Dutcher's past work) and while I am disappointed that some of the most gifted and uncompromising filmmakers often have to fight impossible battles to get their work seen and appreciated, I struggle to care about the stories behind the scenes as much as some in the industry think I should. Give me a character compromising his/her integrity to fund an exceptionally noble ambition of some kind and I'll call that a tragedy worth bleeding quarts over.

I am hopeful the that something of the old Dutcher will return, but in the future I will be cautious and wait for more reviews to come out before I buy a ticket to one of his movies. I hear his next offering is a slasher flick. I hope he's been getting a good wholesale rate on all this fake blood.


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