The Brothers Grimm


Dimension Films presents a film directed by Terry Gilliam. Written by Ehren Kruger. Running time: 118 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for violence, frightening sequences and brief suggestive material).


I once said that I try to judge a film based on intention and not hold it accountable for the unforeseeable conflicts that hold it back from greatness. The intention here was to appeal to the child in adults by giving, what sounded like a bio-epic about the famous Brothers Grimm, a very fantastical spin.


The famous Brothers are hucksters and conmen of great cowardice and lust for money and women, which I’m sure is so far historically accurate. The problem that this film has is with tying each fable of the famous Grimm into a pretty flimsy story. The famous Brothers are arrested for being the shit heads they are and forced to eradicate a real haunting from a small town ravaged by a nearby woods with a hunger for small children. The story itself isn’t all that compelling and I don’t understand why, but if I had my shot I would have tried a much more passive approach to the story, with the illustrious Brothers simply traveling by road and encountering conveniently, so be it, each of the inspirations for there numerous stories. It’s not as far fetched and amazing sounding, but their stories are already so much so that I don’t think they required much else in the way of conventional plotting to help them along.


Be that as it may this is an entertaining film with a few moments of inspired comedy, mostly from Matt Damon, who with Heath Ledger, do everything they can to make this a watchable film, but ultimately just another great concept told the wrong way. It pains me to make this criticism because of the talent involved. Terry Gilliam is one of the most influential and consistently great director in recent memory, behind such classics as Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Time Bandits and such contemporary classics as Twelve Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He tried to make a great film and his heart was in the right place, but for every reason and every trial that fraughts itself upon this world this film is lost without a trail of breadcrumbs to find its way out.


~ by fumikaelson on September 29, 2005.

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