director Carol Morley
Not for the faint of heart. I don’t have the faintest idea why this film wasn’t just called “The Fainting”. Faint praise.
I stumbled on Carol Morley’s The Falling via a tweet of Guillermo del Toro who posted it in positive association with The Babadook (2014) and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Midnight (2014). So I queued it up.
Set in 1969 at an English girls school, it stars Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and Maxine Peake as a pair of very close teenage girls, verging their way into sexuality, suddenly beset by dizzy spells and fainting. When Maxine’s character dies, Maisie’s character starts a round of fainting among the other girls that winds up as one mass hysteria (or something else?)
Throw on top of this complex mess of things, Williams’s mom, an ice-cold agoraphobe, a hypersexual brother, eventual incest, and you’ve got something that is definitely “loaded.” Unfortunately it’s both loaded and laughable. I watched it with my kids and we started making guesses at how many more fainting episodes would occur near the half-way point. Clara won by guessing 30 or more. We started laughing at them all.
The Falling has gotten decent reviews, but with its light girl rock soundtrack and hyper-sillyness, the whole thing was a ridiculous mess for me.