The Fall

8.1 / 10
57 min
Drama, Thriller
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8
" gives "The Fall - First two episodes" a 8."
Written by on 1 June 2013.
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The Fall - First two episodes

This Northern Irish psychological thriller follows serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) and Detective Inspector Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson). The former stalks his potential, seemingly random victims through the streets of Belfast, only to kill them; the latter is a talented female D.I., who is flown in to help catch the killer.

The series’ storyline so far promises an intriguing future. Paul, the serial killer that the series revolves around, looks rather rogue with his unshaven face and slightly scruffy clothing. This matches his sly and dark personality perfectly. However, he also has a less morbid side: he is father to two young children and has a wife—not something you might expect from your average serial killer. Actor Jamie Dornan plays the two sides really well; it’s very clear which part he takes on at any given time by small differences in his behaviour or bearing. Stella, the inspector chasing Paul, very clearly distinguishes her private life and work life. She’s very direct, and if something doesn’t turn out the way she plans it to, she will (literally) walk over bodies to get what she wants. Gillian Anderson portrays the character magnificently. One example of this is in a scene in the first episode: she is out for dinner when a reporter bugs her. She deals with this rather coldly and harshly, after which she quickly switches to her kind self to attend to the waiter. This switch is a very fast one, and because Anderson does it so convincingly, she brings life into the character. I also think that Anderson is cut out for the role, also because her face has sharp lines, but also very delicate features. All in all, in my opinion, the casting is done marvellously.

An interesting feature about the first episode is that it starts with four minutes of mere image and sinister music, but no speech. The images aren’t all that special, Stella is getting ready for bed and Paul breaks into a house, but it introduces the gloomy atmosphere that is present throughout the entire series. Notably, no names are mentioned in the first twenty minutes of the first episode; the first one is the victim’s. Where most series introduce their main characters’ names immediately, The Fall doesn’t give them away that soon. I think this is a suitable introduction to the series’ dark material. It also introduces the slow pace that will remain throughout the series.

The transition between scenes and rooms is a nice example of original filming. Where most series and films will have the one scene fade out and the new one fade in, or just cut to darkness, The Fall uses naturally dark places, such as walls or shadow. This occurs, for example, when Paul walks through his house, from his bedroom to his bathroom. It is filmed from above, looking down on every room he passes, so the walls serve as a natural transition. I think this is interesting, because it gives a clear, yet original, overview of the places they’re at.

With clever parallels between Stella and Paul’s lives, the series offers extra depth into the story. The scenes can easily be watched as separate without any loss of plot points, but simply because they are linked, it becomes clear how alike their personal situations are, and provides a new angle—you sympathise with both killer and detective.

I’m already addicted to The Fall, even though only two episodes have aired so far. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who is into intriguing police series, and give the series so far a well-deserved 8.
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