Fallen, not to be confused with either Fallen (1998), the Denzel Washington film about a body-hopping demon, and the tv mini-series Fallen (2006), another unrelated work about angels also set at a boarding school, is a further contender in the Young Adult stakes. It is adapted from a series of books by US writer Lauren Kate. Fallen (2009) was Kates second published book and she has followed it with three sequels, plus a collection of short stories about the characters in the past and a spinoff novel featuring the character of Cam.
The surprise about Fallen is just how much of it copies Twilight but with angels instead of vampires. We have almost exactly the same story with an ordinary mortal girl (a Mary Sue character) unaware that she is the centre of a great destiny as she signs in to a new school. There she is attracted to a mysterious boy who she learns happens to be immortal and has supernatural abilities. Sparks begin to fly from the moment he saves her from an object that is about to fall onto her a vehicle in Twilight, a gargoyle here. She also becomes at the centre of what seems to be shaping up to be a love triangle with a boy from another faction that are opposing the good angels.
The film has been placed in the hands of Scott Hicks, an Australian director known for works like Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), No Reservations (2007), The Boys Are Back (2009), The Lucky One (2012) and one previous venture into the fantasy genre with the Stephen King adaptation Hearts in Atlantis (2001). Hicks makes a very nicely made film. He gives it a sombre visual feel hardly any shot of the school does not take place with ivy-covered stone, jutting gargoyles or the brooding mist-covered greenery of the grounds in frame. And the effects as the angels take to the air with wings made of light is a visually enthralling climax.
On the other hand, while much of the film is nicely made, it never moves one. The cast are okay but you could never say that the film does anything to set the screen on fire and allow emotional sparks to fly. Not to mention the story is dramatically unsatisfying it is merely an introductory chapter where everything that happens is no more than a prelude to the bigger drama that has been held back for further instalments. Alas, we are unlikely to see any of these due to the fact that Fallen disappeared without even making a ripple at the box-office.