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Posts Tagged ‘Grimm brothers’

This film is a very heavily fictionalised account of the lives of the Brothers Grimm, before they became famous for their collections of folk/fairy tales.  Set in French occupied Germany in the early 1800s, Willheim and Jacob (named Will and Jake in this movie, and played by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger respectively) are shown as a pair of conmen.  They make their living performing fake exorcisms and getting rid of non-existent witches and demons.  However, they eventually find themselves having to solve a genuine mystery.  The town of Marbaden has seen the disappearance of a number of young girls recently, and Will and Jake will need all of their cunning and courage to uncover the truth…

This film received a LOT of criticism, and while I think a lot of it was too harsh, I can see why many people would not enjoy it.  On the plus side, the two main leads – Damon and Ledger – are excellent.  Heath Ledger plays the part of the bumbling and nervous Jake to perfection, while Matt Damon ably handles the role of the more cocky and dominant Will.  As with all Terry Gilliam films, there is an explosion of colour and imagination.  There are also plenty of laughs along the way.  I also enjoyed seeing the allusions to many of the stories which the real Brothers Grimm became famous for.

However, the film did start to fall apart a bit about halfway through.  The plot seemed to get a little bit lost and was certainly overlong.  It seemed to move from the surreal and amusing into the ridiculous.  There was some pretty poor CGI as well; while I’m not normally bothered about special effects in a movie, bad effects can drag a film down.  This is certainly not the best film that either Matt Damon or Heath Ledger have ever starred in – and neither is it the best film from the usually excellent Terry Gilliam.  However, I do like the fact that he is never afraid to try something new and different, and the charisma of the two leads was just about enough to pull this movie through and make it a film I enjoyed watching.

Year of release: 2005

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Ehren Kruger

Main cast: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lena Heady, Mackenzie Crook

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