Let Me Fall
Inspired by the true life recollections of addicts and their families, Icelandic filmmaker Baldvin Z’s harrowing and overwhelmingly emotional drama Let Me Fall eschews cheap clichés surrounding drug dependency in favour of a more delicately crafted, time shifting character study.
As teenagers, Stella (Eyrún Björk Jakobsdóttir) and Magnea (Elín Sif Halldórsdóttir) were inseparable best friends, with the more outgoing and adventurous Stella turning Magnea on to the joys of recreational injection drug use. Stella’s life would continue to grow more chaotic, and Magnea’s loyalty to her closest companion pushes her deeper into addiction and codependency, ruining the young woman’s relationship to her concerned parents. As adults, Stella (Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir) has done her best to stay clean and sober, while Magnea (Kristín þóra Haraldsdóttir) has become a physical and emotional wreck, turning low level sexual tricks in hope of landing her next fix.
Bouncing back and forth between the past and present and building towards moments that would change these characters’ lives forever, Let Me Fall painfully and poignantly casts addiction issues in a refreshingly unpolished light. While Baldvin Z (Life in a Fishbowl) never shies away from the harsh and traumatizing nature of addiction and the fraught perils of growing up, he’s also careful to never emphasise style over substance and realistic emotional meaning. It’s as quietly forceful and sorrowful as addiction narratives tend to get, and the four leads prove to be up to the daunting task, especially Halldórsdóttir and Haraldsdóttir, who undergo tremendous transformations to embody the film’s most tragic character. Anyone looking to make a film about addictive personalities would do well to learn from this one.