Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Brothers Grimm: a gothic, comic, parody of the tales of Grimms

Terry Gilliam is a director with excellent past with films like the Twelve Monkeys, Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Even his less successful efforts have touched some soft spot in me and remain in my heart. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen even in truth a mediocre film has filled my childhood with fantastic, absurd and even surrealistic images.
In the same way The Brothers Grimm might not have received enthusiastic reviews, and wouldn’t hold much under strict examination still manages to stimulate our imagination with pictures deliciously stylized and fantastic. The script refers to Brothers Grimm, known to us as the writers of some of the popular fairy-tales. The Brothers in the film are not respected writers but small time crooks who supposedly fight curses and witches. They themselves stage the supernatural phenomena that later on are paid from the superstitious villagers to battle against. Eventually they are captured by the French army and are forced to confront a real curse and a real witch for the first time of their lives. Many elements of the tales that were written by the real Brothers Grimm have found their way into the script. The small part played by Monica Bellucci conveys a whole meaning of evil in the film history. Surprising evil in this case is extremely beautiful, ripe, enchanting and seductive. Usually evil characters in films are deformed, ugly and monstrous. Even in the fairy tale history for the first time the question “mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all? can true fully be answered: “you are” As the evil queen Monica Bellucci is presented even more beautiful than the positive character (the Snow-white?) Angelika. The script isn’t the most original neither the most coherent one. The spectator has to suspend temporarily his questions and go with the flow, in order to be able to enjoy the film. Acting is a little bit overdone as sometimes is done in film-parodies. There are elements of gothic atmosphere, parody and comedy. In the whole, one could say that the film is uneven. There are instances of brilliance and moments of indifference. Still the film has managed to awaken my imagination and leave some pictures at the store of my mind.

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