I just saw One Fall, and I really liked it. We were lucky enough to have the writer/director/producer/actor Marcus Dean Fuller there after the movie explaining to the audience some of the ideas underlying the plot and how the film almost didn't get made (which sounds like a really interesting story in itself). I think that what makes the film truly special is that the characters, context, and relationships are deep enough that it is easy to bring your own meaning out of the story. To me, the story is about healing (right, you say, you got that from the trailer!) and happiness. James is a superhero-like character that heals people with just a touch; in a way similar to the character John Coffey (like the drink) in Steven King's the Green Mile. Like Coffey, at the beginning of the film James is jailed for trying to heal someone who died. This is where the similarities end though, as James is a complicated and at times unlikable character. Rather than simply offering to heal others because he wanted to "help" (as Coffey did), James begins to charge people in the hospital as a way of getting his financial life back on track. This goes well at first, as the patients in the hospital are physically better and seem happy with the arrangement. After a while, however, as James spirals inwards into depression his healing powers also begin to fail him, and everyone from the hospital gets sick again. James' healing power highlights the complex nature of happiness; even though James can heal the physical ailments of others, he can't heal his own battered psyche and all of the relationships in his life are in complete disarray. Even with superpowers, we see through his character that life can be hard and seem unfair at times. Happiness is a difficult to attain state that is dependent on both mind and body. While James is able to heal his body throughout most of the movie, James is only able to heal his mind once he stops looking inside himself (and inside a bottle). Near the end of the movie he makes an important change in perspective to improve the relationships in his life. The character Tab (like the drink) is no longer the annoying neighbor but is a valued "sidekick." He donates the ill-gotten gains from healing to the cancer stricken bartender's college fund. He rekindles the relationship with his fiancé by showing her he still is the person he used to be, and he forgives himself and his father for his mother's death. He is able to heal himself by healing the relationships in his life. Happiness follows. Through the character of Tab (who brings some hilarious moments to the movie) we also see James' power to heal others in a way that is not physical. In seeing his comic book hero come to life though James, it gives Tab the courage to take on the kids at school and pursuing police. While we aren't privy to the schoolyard after the movie, we can imagine a healed Tab able to stand up for himself with a newfound confidence won from a real friendship with a superhero. So here is the inspiring message that this movie helps us to remember: we all can have superpowers when it comes to healing the relationships in our lives. These superpowers can come from something as simple as a changed perspective that focuses on positively affecting the world. While we cannot heal a physical ailments of those around us, friendship, generosity, love, and forgiveness each can help to heal our own lives and the lives of others. So this is definitely one to check out.
The story of a man who gains healing powers after he survives a 200-foot fall.
January 12, 2021