Movie Talk :: The Fall: An Anti-Suicide Story

So, you know how Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is my favorite movie and I'll talk about it forever? The Fall is another movie I can and will talk about forever. Here's the last time I wrote about it.  (I made a video 2 years ago talking about my love of these movies. It will never die.)

This is all spoilers.

Recently I've been thinking about The Fall and people on Tumblr have been posting screencaps and gifs of Lee Pace from it. It got me thinking about how much this movie is an anti-suicide movie. 

It starts with Alexandria's injury, when she fell out of the orange tree on the orchard where her family worked, and broke her arm. From there in the hospital we meet Roy, a stunt actor who has ended up with severe leg/spinal/ injuries from jumping off of a railroad to a river in a gully. Well, he jumped off of something. The character is supposed to be the dashing hero and Roy is his stand in.  

After this injury Roy learns that the girl he loves never loved him and wants to kill himself, because being melodramatic is vogue. 

But! 

But Roy cannot retrieve the painkillers he wants to use to overdose, he starts twisting words and manipulating a earnest child. Young Alexandria, starts an unlikely friendship with Roy when he decides from the beginning to use her to help his own selfish needs. This shows just how twisted and pervasive depression and suicide are. They put on a happy, friendly mask when inside the core of the person is rotten, dank and terrible. 

Roy gets Alexandria onto his side, he gets her to trust him by telling an interesting story of revenge and action. 5 people wronged by an evil empire and their journey to end it, they all come from a broken start. This story, the fictional story within the movie is vibrant and gorgeous. It shows how a different demeanor, a mentally healthier person, can take the dark from one person and read it differently. It's a bit the naivety of youth but also the brightness that is more possible in a child than an adult. 

I think, had we seen this entire story through Roy's eyes it would have been painted darker, more twisted and corrupt, the fun distractions would have been terrifying demons between the brief moments of retaliation. 

Near the middle of the movie Roy makes his first suicide attempt. It fails which breaks Roy that much more. And now his demons are out and they affect Alexandria, she wants to help him. Roy and his story have given her something entertaining past her child heartbreak when he learns that the people you idolize may not be as shiny and golden in reality as they are in your eyes. Alexandria faces her fears because she feels the need to cling onto the horribly broken Roy and help him. His story  and companionship click for her because she she feels like no one else is on her side, and everything Roy says she thinks is for her. 

Alexandria gets injured, this time a concussion, after trying to get more morphine pills for Roy. He tells her he needs to sleep, and she just wants to help. Her attempt to help him and the following admonishments from nurses and doctors in the hospital show Roy that his life has value. He is valuable to someone, even though he was just using her he feels awful. The only person he wants to hurt is himself, but seeing this vibrant and eager life almost destroyed because of his shit Roy fails. He fails at breaking her spirit like his is broken. Alexandria takes over telling the story and helps Roy by showing him that other people are important, not just the one woman who broke his heart.  

If failing to commit suicide, Roy is given a small opportunity to see how his actions affect other people. He's entirely broken by the time Alexandria is injured. He tries to kill everyone in the story but she stops him because she still has hope, and she can see that he's not all rotten. Roy is forced to face his actions, take responsibility for what almost happened, but to also understand how he needs to move on from his perceived slight. There are other people who value him and he understand that that's enough. 

We see at the end of the movie he was going to kill himself over a perceived slight and now little it would have affected the movie he was in, but that there were people in his life who would notice and care. 

All of this made me just realize that this movie, in a way, is very anti-suicide.  People will care, and some people will help you by mistake, because the words you spin will be that sweet. But remember, if they'll help kill you at the wrong time, they'll also help you survive and continue on, it's not fair to use your confusion and your problems against them.  

If you're feeling down, take care of yourself. Links for help here and here.