Room with a View|Jun 13, 2004 1:33 PM| by:

Learning from Hollywood

I saw a film some time ago which left a lasting impression on me, which in itself is something quite unusual when it comes to Hollywood. Fallen, as the title goes, was an interpretation of certain planes of our world within worlds which to some would either seem utterly unreal and only a figment of one’s imagination, or to others, may actually seem extremely normal and part of life, even though it remains hidden to the naked eye.

In brief, the theme concerns the existence of a dark parasite from the vital world, reeking in evil, and surviving by the transfer of itself from one human being to another. While the human vessel is alive, the parasite lives on, creating havoc. But should the vessel die, without coming in contact with anything living, man or beast, that would spell the end of the parasite for it would have no more to feed on.

The film begins with an execution being carried out. The murderer, sings repeatedly a line from an eerie Rolling Stones number, “Time, is on my side… yes it is”. The eyes reflect a hidden knowledge that yes, indeed, execution or not, the evil that lurks within shall continue to exist, and so just before the final moment, he manages to touch an officer. Perhaps in the occult planes, just a mere touch is enough to pass on a negative energy – in fact, Indian seers have since long subscribed to the exchange of vibrations even without physical contact, which could be good or bad.

From thereon, the vibration is passed on from person to person, all in a matter of minutes, until the parasite suddenly finds itself in the right vessel which will enable it to do its deed. Quite obviously, by ‘right’ one is implying an undeveloped consciousness that is still a slave to the worst kinds of forces sans discretion.

This carries on for a while and the film ends with the lead protagonist, played by Denzel Washington,  having understood the nature of the parasite and the way of eliminating it, but intelligently enough, the director doesn’t finish off the last segment on a note of illusionary optimism. Just as Washington succeeds in what looks like the termination of this parasite, there is a twist… evil is far from over in this world, and its ways of manifestation are many.

Recently, someone spoke to me of how such forces do exist and thrive in environments to which they have become habituated. He mentioned something interesting, that perhaps this ongoing torture in Iraq’s jails by US law enforcements, torture which mind you is pretty much on the same lines as Saddam’s was, could perhaps be a result of a mass of evil forces (an obvious ingredient for a place of evil repute)  that have remained within the walls and now, seeking to unleash themselves, are using the weakest of the human vessels, and the lowest planes of  consciousness, with the aim to exist a while longer.

This, however unbelievable, does seem suddenly very like the theme in Fallen, where there is  the necessity to live on and the ‘type’ of vessel, as well as the ‘kind’ of action that provides the sustenance, the food for its existence, has to be at hand. It may not be so improbable to imagine the kind of accumulation of the most terrifying and loathsome forces within those walls, during all those years of Saddam’s rule. That that in itself should provide a reason to forgive the ongoing madness is certainly not the issue, but sometimes when one can’t make head or tail of a thing that goes so against the principles of a spontaneous existence which is harmonious at its highest, and decent at its lowest, then it does help to apply a little tangential thinking.

Exploring occult planes isn’t easy, especially for one who hasn’t travelled or been exposed to them, but Fallen was nonetheless brilliantly crafted and executed. What makes this film scary is not the eerie melody that plays as a constant backdrop, or the unknown, or the lingering of nearly tangible evil, or the means of its operation… what makes it simply terrifying is that this may not be fiction at all.