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Fantasy - Sourcery

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Duration1h 58m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11
Source of storyWell – some of Grimm’s fairy takes make token appearances.
DirectorTerry Gilliam
Writers/ScriptEhren Kruger (with unacknowledged contributions by Gilliam and Tony Grisoni)
StarringMatt Damon, Heath Ledger, Mackenzie Crook, Richard Ridings, Peter Stormare, Jonathan Pryce, Lena Headey, Monica Bellucci, 
RatingsIMDb:5.9 by 118,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 38% by 182 critics.

Elevator Pitch: It is 1811 and the French have occupied at least part of Germany, certainly that in which the Grimm brothers operate as confidence tricksters, claiming to remove curses from ignorant villagers. They are captured by unpleasant French people and given the task of trying to determine the reason why young people have been disappearing from the village of Marbaden. From fake magic they are transported to a world of real magic and assisted by a hunter, Angelika, they find a tower containing the ancient Thuringian queen who may be the reason for the disappearance of the children. 

Content: No sex or nudity although a young version of the ancient queen attempts to seduce Jake. In the village a boy is drawing water when his eyes and mouth are stolen by a mud creature – maybe scary for children. The French General and his torturer frequently initiate torture of the brothers, and Angelica, but they usually manage to talk the French out of killing them. There is a wolf who becomes a huntsman at times, cursed by the queen.  The trees in the wood are capable of capturing people with their twining roots. A horse swallows a child.

A View: I am a fan of Terry Gilliam, and some scenes in this film have his stamp all over them, but it was a troubled production, with unwanted intervention by the Weinsteins. Jonathan Pryce is terrific, Lena Headey is feisty and Monica Bellucci is unbelievably glamourous and Damon and Ledger are, well, OK, doing their best in a difficult situation it seems. By the end of it I felt that it would make a good pantomime. Perhaps one to watch if you are Terry Gilliam fan.

Additional info: Miramax apparently spent $30 million promoting the film, possibly ensuring that at the end of the day it lost money.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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