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The Brothers GrimmBrothers Grimm

Starring: Heath Ledger, Matt Damon, Monicca Bellucci, Lena Headey, Peter Stormare, and Jonathon Price
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam Interview

 

 

Bluntly speaking? It's Terry Gilliam for crimeney! The Brothers Grimm is a spectacularly original play on the lore of the master storytellers - as directed by a master storyteller- set upon a fairy-tale like (almost Epcot Center / Renaissance Faire-ish) back drop. The duo of Grimms, Heath Ledger and Matt Damon are grand, and the direction by Terry Gilliam manipulates you into this world with a gleeful smile; you soon forgive the some of the scenery faux pas - or was it a plan…

Story goes…The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (Heath Ledger) and Will (Matt Damon) are grifters of the muddy period. They have an elaborate plan they continually expel upon the various townsfolk they come across, involving tales of woe from the demon-world and brouhahadoms they shall we say...arrange, depending on the particular fear duJour of the countrymen.

That tis till one eve their little smoke and mirrors show gets a tad too real.

A town that is truly under some hocus-pocusy spell? Pish posh thinks Will, the doubting Thomas. But Jacob, the brainiac of the two, believes something, or someone is indeed behind the mayhem.

The town's young girls are disappearing…into to the woods they go. But, this is no kid's tale. This is stomach turning evil at work. The two are ordered by the government - who has a bone to pick with the boys' working ethics - to discover the kidnapping culprit, prove to the town there are no such things as ghosts and spells, or face the gallows for their prior, shall we say, misleadings that filled their pockets with gold…

They are assigned a "guardian" of the courts, a sniveling (Pythonesque) whacko named Cavaldi (hilariously portrayed by Peter Stormare). He's a bit of a sadist, with a heaping helping of masochism for good measure. He is assigned to "watch-over" the brothers...you know just to be sure they don't start to yarn themselves out of their own fable, err, dilemma.

But it's really through the guidance of a multi-tasking chickbabe, Angelika (Lena Headley) whose own sisters have fallen prey to the wicked force of the forest, that the tale starts to truly unfold...

The delightful part of the Brothers Grimm is really two-fold. Terry Gilliam tweaks the performances by yumsicles Heath Ledger and Matt Damon into grandeur - you buy they are brothers and they are the Grimms - no easy task. And the film, itself, works primarily due to the mind of Gilliam; those little oh-so-obvious accents of one of the grand-master maestros of maniacal wonderlands. The set production may take you off guard, until you kinda go, 'Oh, it's suppose to be a fairy-tale set.' I think...I hope.

But that does not for a nanosecond diminish the charisma and chemistry 'tween the lead chaps. Ledger is a delight (in more ways than one frankly...) as the studious, and serious "writer" and McGyver brother Jacob. Matt Damon earns a coupla points for coming back to his abilities and shining up his badge of comedic timing in Will; he's always swell on the retina, but I tilt a smile towards the lad's acting chops. And the two are edible in these manly-man garments by Gabriella Pescucci and Carlo Poggioli. Monica Bellucci is grand as the ultra-evil source of the plot. Ms. Headley, as the "freak" of the town who dares be modern,Angelika, is a tough pre-Bally's take-charge gal - bravo.

It's obvious Gilliam was reigned in a tad...perhaps the big-bad studio had a bit of fear and loathing...but, Brothers Grimm is still stamped with his beautiful, bountiful bravado and swirling symphonic accents - so yes, venture forth and indulge ye of film going fare.

Snack recommendation: Gnocchi and marina - everyone in the production crew seems to be Italian - so you may be a hankerin' for some boot-chow post-credit viewing



 

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