The Brothers Grimm
—About this Film pdf
The Brothers Grimm is weird. Visually pleasing, but weird. If you saw Time Bandits, and recognize the work of Terry Gilliam, than you’re probably prepared before you get to the theater. Realistically, if you reflect on the ‘real-life’ story of two brothers who wrote stories about an old woman who shoves children into a stove or a woman who didn’t cut her hair for years…strange is key.
So, throw Gilliam into the pot, er, mix with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, two reasonably acclaimed actors with a sense of humor to match and you figure the film can’t be half bad. And you’d probably be right! With Will and Jake Grimm (Damon and Ledger), the adventures are more fantastic than true, but truth always seems to find a way into the forefront by the end of these fables, on paper or the silver screen.
General Delatombe (Jonathan Pryce) and his lieutenant, Cavaldi (Peter Stormare), are the intended comedic and strangely villainous Frenchmen who force the Grimms into action against a real threat. Before getting to the threat, and the women who dominate the second half of the film, I must say that the Frenchmen made me want to leave. For the most part, they could have been removed from the film and except for a shorter film, you wouldn’t miss much. I actually found them to be as aggravating as…Jar-Jar Binks.
The second half is dominated as I said by two women, Angelika (Lena Headley) whose hurt drives her to fight evil whenever she can and Monica Belluci as the Mirror Queen. Like a true fable, the Queen’s evil is an outpouring of her own pride, greed and lust, and Angelika’s hurt/desire for revenge rise from the Queen’s evil. Here is an example of neither providence or God’s action causing pain, but rather Angelika being on the wrong end of the Queen’s free will.
Enter our sly heroes to battle this evil, to free themselves of Delatombe and Cavaldi. Rather than fleeing though, they become ‘enchanted’ by Angelika’s beauty and end up serving as antiheroes in this strange fable. Good versus evil is really criminal versus sadistic. To some degree, the line is muddied when we realize that even the good can fall prey to the Queen’s evil enchantments. Still, brotherly love and self-sacrifice unto death cause the fall of the evil laying hold to the forest. [Really, did you think that either headliner would truly die in the so-called autobiography of the Brothers Grimm prior to their publication???]
The movie itself is harmless fun for the most part. A mix of Robin Hood: Men In Tights with Legend. The sets are visually pleasing, the women are strong characters, and in the end good does rise conquer evil. And at the end of the day, we’d all like to be happily ever after.
—About this Film pdf