Monday, November 07, 2005

The Brothers Grimm

Having just come back from holiday, there are so many movies out to catch up on! Anyway, the first one we went to see was Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm, starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger as the two brothers...

It's an alternate take on the lives of the famous fairytale authors, where Jacob (Ledger) and Wilhelm (Damon) Grimm are a couple of con-artists, travelling around Europe during the French occupation of Germany collecting folklore and tales. They then make a living by setting up all manner of enchanted situations and get the terrified villagers to pay them to boldly vanquish the demons or exorcise the evil spririts, etc.

However, when young girls start to disappear in the forest near the village of Marsbaden, the regional French military govenor (Jonathan Pryce) captures the brothers and threatens to have them executed if they don't go in there and get rid of whoever is copying their "act" as it's causing unrest among the locals.

But this is no act and the pair soon find themselves pitted against a real evil and they have to find the courage to save the girls and vanquish a 500 year old Witch Queen, who wants them to restore her beauty.

Being a Terry Gilliam movie, it's pretty manic from the start and there are some very funny scenes and lines in there. But a lot of the script was written by Ehren Kruger, who wrote the horror movies The Ring and The Ring Two, so there are also some very dark and scary moments in there as well.

Both Ledger and Damon seem miscast here, Damon is an outgoing womanizer and Ledger is the bookish one, but they do a reasonable job and seemed to gel together fairly well. Apparently, they were originally cast in opposite roles but both obviously fancied a change and they swapped. The heroine of the piece is played well by English actress Lena Headey as the huntsman's daughter. Pryce is good as the ruthless French General, constantly more interested in what he's having for dinner, but the comedy prize has to go to Peter Stormare for his Pythonesque performance as Cavaldi, his chief torturer.

All in all, it's a reasonably entertaining few hours and there are loads of homàges to Grimm's Fairy Tales in there as well such as Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Grethel, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Snow White.

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror.
My Rating: 6/10

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