Tarsem: where does brilliance end and misguided optimism begin?

When I was getting into advertising one of the biggest directors in the world was an Indian man, enigmatically named Tarsem.

He shot classics like this:

Then he seemed to disappear, occasionally popping up to make less good ads and visually stunning but narratively flawed movies like The Cell:

But he’s still got something. Check out these tiles for his 2009 movie, The Fall:

Beautiful, but do they just prove that his limit is the two-minute stunner?

His latest project is the illegitimate child of 300, Immortals.

It’s been a massive hit that Roger Ebert has called ‘The best looking awful movie you will ever see’:

So should Tarsem stick to what he does best or continue to try to spread his wings?

Should any of us?

Is it better to accept your limitations and be the best at what you’re best at, or always strive for greater, further, better in areas where you might never go beyond mediocre?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. I say hats all the way off to Tarsem for making great ads, great title sequences and movies that Roger Eberts isn’t too keen on. So he can’t string a coherent narrative together? He still contributes far more to people’s happiness than 99.9999865% of the planet does.

And I secretly wouldn’t mind watching Immortals (on a plane).