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
A miscommunication between the casting agent and Catinca Untaru led her to believe that Lee Pace was a real-life paraplegic. Director Tarsem Singh found that this brought an added level of believability to their dialogue, so he decided to keep almost the entire cast and crew under the same impression. Singh had to speak to the actor playing Alexandria's father and explain that his role was smaller than it appeared, since the script implied that he played the role of the bandit (actually played by Pace) in the fantasy scenes. Apparently it was hard to keep up the lie - a makeup artist walked into a room to find Pace standing and almost passed out from shock. 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 »
For the UK version, some changes were made to remove footage from the archive cinema clips that involved real cruelty to horses, as this contravenes the UK's Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »
Spectacular, Arresting Visuals and Clever Storyline
I saw this film two weeks before its scheduled release at the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. The film saw a surprise premiere after another in the festival was canceled. The visuals are like nothing I have ever seen before: spectacular, epic, ... words cannot describe this masterpiece of cinematography. Every scene is a work of art. The color palate is so rich, from the bright orange of desert mountains, to the vibrant red of a blood-soaked sheet, to the opulent green of the Indian's attire. The first five minutes of the film were arresting, the haunting soundtrack, the beautiful black and white images, I had goosebumps.
The acting seems very candid, very real. The young Romania actress playing the role of Alexandria is adorable, and Lee Pace as always is superb as the hospitalized, paraplegic stuntman. The characters were absorbing, and the story captivating. And where many films were unworthy of the title of "A Fairy-tale for Adults" this film truly is. It is about love, death, adventure, responsibility, and growing up.
The sheer magnitude of this film is unbelievable, shot in 18 countries, spanning many years (for the director to scout locations and cast appropriate actors) it is a true work of genius and a commitment by all cast and crew. I just hope that the filmmakers get enough out of the commercial end of this movie, to compensate them for the great effort that so obviously went into the making of this film and so that we might possibly get another like it in the future.
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