The Movie Waffler Raindance Film Festival 2024 Review - FALLING INTO PLACE | The Movie Waffler

Raindance Film Festival 2024 Review - FALLING INTO PLACE

Raindance Film Festival 2024 Review - FALLING INTO PLACE
After making a brief connection in Scotland, two troubled strangers return to their separate lives in London.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Aylin Tezel

Starring: Aylin Tezel, Chris Fulton, Rory Fleck Byrne, Alexandra Dowling, Olwen Fouéré, Michael Carter, Samuel Anderson, Layo-Christina Akinlude

Falling Into place posters

Romantic movies love to promote the idea that all a broken person needs is to fall for another broken person. It's certainly made for some effective romantic fiction, but in reality there's very little evidence to back up this notion. Quite the contrary. In real life when two troubled people get together they tend to enable and exacerbate their troubles. The worst person an alcoholic could fall for is another alcoholic. With Falling Into Place, her debut as writer/director, German actress Aylin Tezel presents a refreshingly mature take on the two broken people trope. The troubled lovers of her film might be right for each other, but only if they can fix themselves first.

Falling Into place review

Tezel casts herself as Kira, a German artist living in London. Having dumped her boyfriend, Aidan (Rory Fleck Byrne), for his infidelity, she takes a solo trip to the Scottish isle of Skye. There she meets Ian (Chris Fulton), a struggling musician who also lives in London but who is visiting his family, with whom he has some long unresolved issues. When Kira and Ian run into each other at a local pub, there's an immediate connection. They spend the night running through the streets and fields, playing drunken games, and discussing their lives. While Kira openly speaks about her troubles, Ian is withdrawn. He's clearly putting a brave face on something that's eating away at him, and we learn exactly what that is when he receives a phone call that brings an abrupt end to his extended meet cute with Kira.

Without exchanging any contact details, Kira and Ian return to their separate lives in London. There we find two deeply miserable people, a far cry from the two charming strangers we spent a night with in Scotland. Kira is still in love with Aidan and is torn between following the advice of her friends to let him go and her own desire to take him back into her arms. Ian is in a relationship with Emily (Alexandra Dowling), whose patience with his freeloading ways and open relationship is wearing thin. It's clear he needs to mend his relationship with his family before he can move on.

Falling Into place review

The opening scenes of Falling Into Place might fool you into thinking you're in for a Before Sunrise-esque romantic drama of two strangers making a connection, but it's more about missed connections and reconnections. The goal of the story is to ultimately bring Ian and Kira back together, but what's most interesting about Tezel's approach to this oft-told tale is how she leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether Ian and Kira really should get back together. The more time we spend with Ian and Kira in their mutual absence, the more we realise there's a lot more to them than simply the good looking and charismatic young people who won us over in the opening sequence. We learn a lot about who Ian and Kira really are, and we don't like a lot of it. They're both haunted by their own issues, but they're also a pair of narcissists who mistreat the people in their lives. Ian is, to put it mildly, an asshole to Emily and his family, while Kira uses her feminine charms to manipulate people into giving her what she wants. We're left to wonder how much of their behaviour Ian and Kira would get away with if they weren't two very attractive young people.

Whether you like Ian and Kira or not, they're never less than compelling. Tezel has clearly put a lot of thought into the character of Kira, and her portrayal is brutally honest to the point where some scenes are difficult to watch as she degrades both herself and others. Resembling a Celtic Jake Gyllenhaal, Fulton has movie star written all over him, and we can see why women keep giving Ian second chances. Horror stalwart Olwen Fouéré is cast against type as a warm-hearted gallery owner rather than the oracle of doom she usually plays in genre films, and adds some surprising heart to the film.

Falling Into place review

Each individual viewer will likely come to their own conclusion regarding whether Ian and Kira belong together, which will affect how the final scenes land for you. Personally I thought the movie had delivered the perfect ending, only for it to add on one more scene that felt like a cop-out. But the journey to that no doubt divisive ending is always engaging, if often unbearable in its unflinching look at how narcissism can make even the most good looking people seem ugly.

Falling Into Place plays at the 2024 Raindance Film Festival on June 21st.

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