The Fallen (2003)

Falling Behind

World War II is coming towards an end but things in Italy are still chaotic. In one area are the Germans whose numbers are dwindling as quick as their rations. Then there are the Italians who dislike being bossed around by the Germans and their attitude to all Italians. But caught in the middle are the Americans who find it difficult to distinguish between the fascists and the partisans as well as enemy spies. But for many men one day is no different to the other as they wait for news from home, write letters and bicker over about unimportant things.

"The Fallen" is an interesting idea, show what life was like during the final days of war in Italy, telling the story from different points of view. It immediately makes it quite an ambitious movie because it means multiple characters and a narrative which jumps from one group to the other. Maybe for an independent movie it is too ambitious although at the same time when it focuses upon one of the groups and covers their daily lives but also how they fit in to the bigger picture it does do a nice job.

Yet there is almost a sort of cartoonish side to "The Fallen" with a variety of comical scenes from some Italians managing to start an abandoned army jeep to a group of Germans and Italians fighting over a ladle. Plus there are the advances of an Italian farmer's wife and an American soldier. It is both entertaining but all a bit of an oddity as when it isn't delivering humour it is trying to be a little more thoughtful and the two don't exactly fit well together.

What this all boils down to is that firstly "The Fallen" is certainly not as bad as I was expecting it to be. But it is a movie which is too ambition for its production whilst also suffering due to this weird cartoonish side which doesn't balance with the more serious side.