“The Brothers Grimm"
“The Brothers Grimm,” is a fictional account
of the real life authors, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. These
are the same brothers who collected folk tales, retooled
them and wrote prolifically, creating the captivating yet
gruesome Cinderella; Snow White, and lesser-known How Children
Played Butcher With Each Other. Presented frantically and
without clear definition of what it really wants to be,
director Terry Gilliam’s attempts to present a stylish
fantasy fall predominantly flat. The convoluted script by
Ehren Kruger, who most recently wrote “Skeleton Key,”
leaves the high voltage cast stranded in a murky and muddled
mess of a storyline that must have sounded better in concept
than it actually plays out on the big screen.
The film begins with Will (Matt Damon) and Jacob (Heath
Ledger) as two latter day “Ghostbusters,” roaming
from town to town across Germany, rigging and then ridding
the supposedly haunted villages of witches and curses all
of course, for a price. Their buffoon-like con artist approach
to life works until they are revealed as frauds by the evil
General Delatombe (Jonathan Pryce) who instead of sentencing
them to a tortuous death, sends them off into an enchanted
forest to retrieve eleven missing girls and battle a 500-year-old
Mirror Queen. All of the scenes that follow intersperse
hints of characters from recognizable Grimm’s stories,
including Little Red Riding Hood and Rupunzel.
Despite their innate screen presence, Damon and Ledger
never get the chance to make much out of the one-dimensional
characters they play, but one can only imagine how dreadful
this picture would have been without them. Pryce is pretty
convincing as the creepy and sadistic French general.
For those moviegoers who have actually read any of the
works of the Brothers Grimm, the idea that a film would
be made about them and that all the money and special effects
used have nothing in the least to do with the actual people
they were, may be more than a little astonishing. Over the
years, the beloved and incredible Grimm tales have been
sanitized, Disneyfied, and now with this film sadly, stupefied.