Directed by: TERRY GILLIAM
DAMON, HEATH LEDGER, PETER STORMARE, LENA HEADEY,
JONATHAN PRYCE, MONICA BELLUCCI
Released by: Dimension Films
Short: The brothers Grimm are two 19th century
con men find themselves in the midst of real
magical enchantment in director Terry Gilliam's
misguided take on fairy tale favorites.
Across a Fairy Tale Landscape
no easy way to say it. "The Brothers Grimm"
is just a mess. It hurts to make that statement, since
Terry Gilliam’s movies have been easy to love so
far. Think "Brazil," "Time Bandits,"
"Twelve Monkeys" and the comedy classic "Monty
Python and the Holy Grail." But this time, the long-awaited
"Grimm" —the director's first film since
1998's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"—
evokes neither love nor hate. Just boredom, a word that
is usually unimaginable in conjunction with Gilliam's
normally unique and creative work.
Damon and Heath Ledger star as brothers Wilhelm and Jacob
Grimm, con men wandering across French-occupied Germany
in the days of Napoleon's rule, preying on the superstitions
of countryside folk. As always, Gilliam creates a complete
world for his characters, but unfortunately, this one
is grubby, gray and uninspiring. Add a storyline that
often leaves the viewer at a loss and an over-the-top
performance by Peter Stormare as Cavaldi, an Italian gendarme working for a snooty French general, and the film quickly
devolves from boring to downright annoying.
the biggest problem with the film is the tone, as Gilliam
and company can't seem to decide whether "The Brothers
Grimm" is supposed to be a delightful comedic romp
or a dark and scary fantasy. Instead, it careens jarringly
from one extreme to the other. The brothers hoodwink townsfolk
and romance barmaids, then battle a living forest and
an evil witch kidnapping girls and burying them alive.
Instead of excitement, all this does is simply create
a jumbled muddle of emotions and an unsettled mood.
bright spots in this otherwise extremely disappointing
film are the women. Lena Headey shines as a tough-as-nails
country lass Angelika who joins the guys in the fight
against the evil witch expertly played by the always-fascinating
Monica Bellucci. But sadly for fans of Terry Gilliam's
earlier work, their performances are nowhere near enough
to save this unfortunate film.