The Falling (2014) | This beguiling British mystery owes a debt to Picnic at Hanging Rock

The Falling (2014)

Set in a rural British girls’ school in 1969, director Carol Morley’s The Falling explores issues of female friendship, desire and hysteria in a beguiling tale about a mysterious fainting sickness that spreads amongst the pupils.

The Falling (2014)

Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams is Lydia, a confident, questioning youngster infatuated with her best friend Abbie (Florence Pugh) who discovers she’s pregnant to Lydia’s (incestuous) brother, Kenneth (Joe Cole). When Abbie dies suddenly after a fainting spell, Lydia and her school mates begin to exhibit the same symptoms, while their teachers – including Greta Saatchi’s grouchy Miss Mantel and Monica Dolan’s chain-smoking lesbian Miss Alvaro – impassively look on. Is it just a case of attention seeking or is there something else stirring?

Echoing themes from The Moth Diaries, Heavenly Creatures and most especially Picnic at Hanging Rock (the girls watches stopping in unison is just total rip), this British indie is certainly bold and beautiful to look at, but it’s not quite as brilliant as those films from which it draws its inner magic.

It’s also quite rambling and disjointed, which may add to the slow-burning tension, but some might struggle to make it to the end. Maxine Peake, who plays agrophobic mum Eileen, and who sports a beehive similar to Rachel Roberts’ in Hanging Rock, is the one to watch (even though she says very little).

The Falling is out on DVD and Blu-ray from Metrodome in the UK from 24 August

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About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on August 24, 2015, in British Film, Might-See, Psychological thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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