Terry Gilliam has a certain way with imagery, you either love it or can’t quite figure it out. For the most part I love it and this story, of the two young Grimm brothers and the supposed origin of their famous fairytales, is a perfect foil for Gilliam’s eye for the strange dark places that haunt your mind.
Heath Ledger and Matt Damon play the eponymous brothers, with Ledger turning in an excellent performance as the bookish reader of tales, alas Damon forgot to lose his Hollywood tan and looks ever so slightly out of place. In fact this lack of attention to detail is the downfall of the movie.
Set in French occupied Germany, the accents range through most of Europe and feature, amongst others, a small boy in a German village who speaks with a Yorkshire accent. I’m all for suspension of disbelief but I expect a movie to help me along that path, not jar me back to reality every three minutes with yet another odd moment to lose continuity.
The script is fine, the story amicable enough (it IS a fairytale after all) but the direction lacks sparkle and magic. Add to that some inconsistent performances (Ledger and Jonathan Pryce aside) and the movie left me some what bemused. Terry Gilliam and the Brothers Grimm seemed like a perfect match, alas neither side has come out very well.
Ohh and I’d better mention THAT scene between Monica Bellucci and Heath Ledger… ohh to have that woman breathing my ear….