The Brothers Grimm (2005) – Terry Gilliam

Arguably Terry Gilliam’s most commercial film, The Brothers Grimm is the next stop as I explore Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales as portrayed in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies.

The film features Heath Ledger and Matt Damon as the titular Grimm Brothers, and the always stunning (and underused) Monica Bellucci as the evil Mirror Queen. This incarnation of the Brothers Grimm doesn’t see them as storytellers, however. In this version the pair are con artists, living off the superstitions and fairy tales of the regions they travel through to make some coin.

Things get rough for the pair this time around when they discover that they’ve encountered a real supernatural curse, and their tricks of the trade may not help them, especially if they don’t have any courage to guide their actions.

Wilhelm (Damon) is the sharper of the two, but also the crueler, while Ledger’s Jacob is book smart, but less able at the real world, and compassionate… also the notetaker, transforming their cases into stories.


There is a nice chemistry between Ledger and Damon, and they provide a nice heart to Gilliam’s slightly uneven film and one wonders if it was due to studio interference, or the fact that Gillliam’s films are a little eccentric and not always for mass theater goers.

It’s fun, a little silly, and gives a unique spin on the Grimm stories as well as the brothers. There’s a lot of Gilliam in the film, and it plays nicely with the fairy tales of Europe, marrying a large portion of them into the narrative in ways that would delight some viewers, and disappoint others.

The cast is packed with familiar faces, Lena Headey, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Stormare and Mackenzie Crook. The film is visually lovely to look at, marrying Gilliam’s style with that of the legends and myths of Europe.

Gilliam films have always bee hit and miss with the mainstream public, but I quite enjoyed this one. I liked the eccentric characters, their behavior, and the way the story unfolds, part fantasy, part buddy movie, and part adventure – all of balancing a measure of comedy, horror, action and drama.

This for me, was a fun film, and I greatly enjoyed the pairing of Ledger with Damon, and did I mention Bellucci?

There are more monsters and creations coming as I continue through the fascinating, informative, and entertaining Monsters in the Movies book by director John Landis, available now from DK Books.

Pick one up today, and find something magical or monstrous to watch tonight.






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