Folklore collectors and con artists, Jake and Will Grimm, travel from village to village pretending to protect townsfolk from enchanted creatures and performing exorcisms. They are put to the test, however, when they encounter a real magical curse in a haunted forest with real magical beings, requiring genuine courage. Written by
When Cavaldi tells the two women bringing food that the brothers will thank them for their kindness, both are shown laughing even though the woman on the left is not laughing, or even smiling. See more »
Like his Baron Munchhausen, Gilliam's Brothers Grimm has been horridly
misunderstood by critics and public alike. What I get from the comments
and reviews is the sense of thwarted expectations, although I have
little idea what the anti-Grimms expected in the first place. People
dislike the kitten scene because it's a cute kitten. This I find
entirely in the grotesque spirit of the original folk tales. We've
learned to take our fairy tales Disneyfied, apparently. I've also heard
complaints about the quality of the special effects as sub-ILM quality.
Frankly, that's what I liked about them. They *didn't* look like ILM;
they looked personal. I admit I found the basic premise a cliché (two
con men who make their living on the superstitious gullible find out
that, in this case, the magic is real), but its working-out overcomes
this basic flaw. This is a movie that shuns cliché. The brightest
scenes, for example, almost always contain the greatest menace.
Relative safety is drab, dirty, brutish, nasty, and short. Ledger gives
an amazing performance -- I had previously regarded him as a Troy
Donahue update. Matt Damon shows he has the chops to cross over from
small "indies" to big performances in the old leading-man vein. Peter
Stromare and Jonathan Pryce do a highbrow Martin & Lewis -- Stromare
all over the place and Pryce coolly self-contained -- to hilarious
effect. The faces alone in this movie are wonderful, hearkening back to
the glory days of Leone. There are so many telling details in the
background ("Bienvenue a Karlstadt") -- let alone the foreground --
that show Gilliam's mastery. Harry Potter (which I enjoyed), Lord of
the Rings, and Chronicles of Narnia are for the kiddies and show us
worlds we can, with effort, control. Gilliam doesn't offer any such
comfort, not even at the end. The sense of menace is overwhelming, and
Gilliam achieves it without super-special effects, usually camera
movement (the shots following Little Red Riding Hood through the forest
made my jaw drop). A brilliant film, operating at a high level we don't
see much of these days. Someone compared the movie to Burton's Big
Fish, another film dismissed or ignored by critics and public. Although
Burton's and Gilliam's sensibilities differ, I take the writer's point.
The confident, poetic handling of myth and archetype in both
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