Falling Down (1993) Film Review

Rating 18
Length 1h53
Release 4.6.1993
Director Joel Schumacher
About Bill Foster is an engineer whose increasing frustration levels lead him to act out violently and commit several crimes.
Where to Watch: Netflix

The Good

  • I don’t even know where to start with this film, so I guess I’ll start with that opening. I’ve never felt so triggered from a scene before, but with the heat at the moment, the sound of the traffic outside and the lack of air. I felt that opening.
  • Michael Douglas should have at least been nominated for this performance. I’m still processing the complexity of the character, but there’s not many people who can make me fear them while also empathising with their frustrations. In a similar way to his role in Disclosure, his character goes through a transformation and, you know what?, Michael Douglas is damn good at it.
  • There’s so much to learn. You could watching it for the composition of the visual artistry (the camera being inside the fridge near the beginning and the numerous aesthetic homages to other films), or you could watch it with a view to looking at the psychology, character parallels and individual actions.
  • I absolutely loved Robert Duvall’s character, Pendergast. While I struggled witch how he was treated by his co-workers, I understood it’s place in the plot. The bit I loved the most was that the character really surprised me.
  • This film is scary. It’s scary because of how real this all seems. It also doesn’t seem to blame mental health, but it certainly comments upon the issues people deal with that contribute to trauma, depression and mental ill health.

The Bad

  • While I personally love how the story is told. However, I can imagine some may struggle with how much film withholds about D-Fens. Considering he is our protagonist, we don’t really get any details about him until we’re past the point of no return. Some will struggle with the lack of instant information and may turn off long before they see results.

The Ugly

  • The racism, xenophobia and social deprivation makes this a hard watch. It will stick in the throat and stick with you long after the film has finished. Not because it seems like the views of the creatives, but that it reflects a genuine views and hatred within a community. The part that scares me most, is that the hatred spewed out by D-Fens and others are things I’ve read across social media recently from both Americans and Pro-Brexit Brits.

Final Thoughts

Quite possibly the scariest film I’ve ever watched. It’s not something I’ll watch with any regularity, however it is a film I will recommend.

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