The first film by Tarsem Singh that I ever saw, The Fall, took him four years to film and was shot in 28 countries with no stages built for the film. Singh poured a level of care and passion into this film that you could just feel. It was special, even if I don’t remember a lick of the story. Singh’s cinematography had an epic quality, and I don’t mean that in the “bro” sense of the word; his landscapes were seemingly larger than life.
Singh’s latest film, Self/Less, tells a much smaller story, and does so without most of that passion found in The Fall. I liked this movie a lot more than many other critics seem to, but it’s a little too predictable and is a little too lacking in heart.
There is a lot to like about Self/Less, though. It begins with a very cool idea — being able to move your consciousness into another body to prolong life — and the “fun and games” portion of this film (to reference Blake “Save the Cat!” Snyder) is really a lot of fun. Self/Less also features an unconventional editing style that adds a really unsettling vibe to the film.
But once the plot starts rolling, it’s pretty easy to see where things are headed. It’s sort of a shame, too; for as much promise as the premise of Self/Less holds, it never really expands upon it much. Self/Less isn’t a bad movie, and deserves far more credit than its shoddy Rotten Tomatoes score suggests. At the same time, though, it’s not quite worth your time.