Getting its home entertainment release this Monday is the Carol Morley directed drama The Falling, starring Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams (enter to win a copy of the film here), so here's my review of it - on Blu-Ray.

Set in rural 1969, the film follows the enigmatic and quiet Lydia Lamont (Maisie Williams) and her charismatic and gorgeous friend Abbie (Florence Pugh). When Abbie begins drifting away from Lydia and their love slowly starts to fade, a mysterious outbreak of faintings emerges and begins to take the all-girls school by storm. With the situation becoming more volatile and the faintings only escalating, a lost Lydia sets out to try and find out just what's going on - revealing some dark truths and horrors along the way.

There's a lot to like about director Carol Morley's second feature-length directorial piece, one of which is its sumptuous atmosphere and seductive ambiguity. This isn't your by-the-book, typical coming-of-age affair. It's a strange, sexy and rather odd piece of cinema that boasts some true art techniques whilst slipping on some of the more basic ideals, like its thick plot and convoluted tones. The Falling has its heart in the right place, in that it tries to be an atypical film and a unique cinematic experience however, there's a lot that hinders the project from reaching that. The film tries to balance several different themes yet doesn't fully succeed on any. The tone and direction of the film is constantly shifting too, going in one way at one point and a completely different way at another. The premise is so confused and muddled that we never get enthralled into the story because just as we do, the film goes off into something totally different.

There are some positives though. For starters, the characters are intriguing and the dialogue given to them is poetic and well written and interesting (if never quite what you'd hear from a teenage girl though). It's just a shame that the good writing never quite melds into a cohesive premise. The performances are all strong as well, only adding to the mystique of these characters. Maisie Williams has shown, time and time again, though her work in Game of Thrones, that she knows how to act and sell drama and the same applies here. However, it's newcomer Florence Pugh that steals the show - matching Williams blow for blow and being the character that you really remember.

It's an odd film. There's a captivating and poignant sexiness and ambiguity infused into this project and these characters that will wrap you in and send chills down your spine but the premise that this is all encapsulated in is just too convoluted and muddied for its own goos, hindering the project and making a tedious and boring affair at times and the conflicting tones only add to the detriment. It's a competent film, if never living to its potential, yet Morley's feature is undeniably, truly, hauntingly memorable and unsettling at times.

  • Short Film by Carol Morley - 'The Madness of the Dance': This 17 minute long short film, from the director of the film herself, stars Maxine Peake (who also has a role in the film). The film was shot in 2006 and ties into the film - to avoid spoilers, I won't say how - but does a very mawkish job at doing so, loosely tying the ends together. Since I wasn't as wrapped up in the film, it came off a little weak. It's an unusual and rather odd little short and it's easy to see why it was one of Morley's early pieces of work.
  • Theatrical Trailer: This is the 2 minute long trailer for the film.
The extra features here feel rather underwhelming. It seems as though there would be a lot to explore in this world and get an idea of just how this film came about yet there's nothing but a trailer (which is available online too) and a mediocre short film.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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