The Falling (15)

Directed by Carol Morley
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 24th April 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

One comment made about this film is that it does not look girlish and is not a far-fetched teen fantasy but that is exactly what it is.

The most absurd moment of this ludicrous movie - it is an account, not based on any true-life event, of a spate of mass fainting in 1969 in an English girls' school - occurred when , during assembly, over half of the pupils all fell to the floor, as if in unison. It could almost have been a Monty Python sketch from that time period, titled The Ministry Of Silly Faints!

The stereotype roles were much in evidence, including sexually repressed middle-aged teachers, the spinsters being the chain smoking headmistress Miss Alvaro (Monica Dolan) and Miss Mantel (Greta Scacchi), the latter disapproving of mini-skirts worn by some of the girls. Good job she did not know of the incest committed by one of her pupils with her brother!

The most intriguing and mysterious character was the mother (Maxine Peake) of Lydia (Maisie Williams) - one of the main protagonists in the film - who hardly says a word, suffers from agoraphobia, and receives constant stick from her daughter.

Could it be that Lydia, who is accused of being one of the girls, along with her friend Abbie (Florence Pugh), of passing on the symptoms - I am not sure how - of the constant fainting bouts to the others at the school, had inherited it of sorts from her personality disordered mum?

The most redeeming feature of The Falling was the highly impressive cinematography of Agnes Godard, including stunning shots of nature reflected in lakes and ponds.

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