FILM 1368: THE FALLING
British director Carol Morley’s follow-up to her breakthrough hit Dreams of a Life is a feverish exploration of raging hormones and teenage angst set against a brilliantly beguiling backdrop of a mysterious outbreak of mass-hysterical fainting at an English girls’ school in the late 1960s.
Abbie and Lydia are best of friends, with a particular intensity that comes with the friendship between sixteen-year-old girls. Abbie (newcomer Florence Pugh) is the undisputed leader, full of natural charisma and magnetism. Lydia (Games of Thrones’ best Bristolian Maisie Williams) is fixated on her friend, having long been emotionally abandoned by her agoraphobic single mum (Maxine Peake) and a father she never knew. But when Abbie begins to experiment with boys, including with her best friend’s magic-obsessed brother, Lydia’s fragile world quickly starts to unravel. And when first she and then other girls too at the school begin to faint en-mass, to the consternation of the school authorities, an occult-like strangeness begins to pervade the lives of all those involved.
Like a British riff on Picnic at Hanging Rock in its exploration of female friendship (and competition), burgeoning sexuality, and the supernatural unexplained; this bold head-rush of a film is confirmation that Morley is fast becoming one of Britain’s most distinctive and exciting filmmakers. (http://www.watershed.co.uk/whatson/6506/the-falling)
TRIVIA: Florence Pugh (Abbie) is a singer songwriter in real life.