REVIEWED
3/2/03

STORY



LOOK

The Fisher King
Director: Terry Gilliam
Year: 1991
TRT: 2:17


This is Gilliam's most "realistic" film, and I think one of his best. The story follows Jack Lucas, a very shallow, materialistic shock-jock in New York city, who doesn't have a care in the world except landing a part in a shitty television sit-com, just so people can see what he looks like. Then one of his listeners takes one of his standard, acidic remarks to heart, and things go poorly. Jack loses pretty much everything, including his self respect. Three years pass, and he's just hanging out at the bottom, still stuck in his self-inflicted misery. On what he thinks is his final bender, he is saved by some homeless people from an attack, and ends up reluctantly befriending Parry, an odd bum who, like most of the homeless, has some mental instability thrown into the mix. Their past has a common element, and Jack finds himself getting caught up in the search for the Holy Grail, an affirmation in a shaky relationship, and redemption for things that have gone wrong in the past.

Despite the Grail reference, this has absolutely no similarity to the Monty Python movie. This is great drama with a humorous tint, some in the shade of black. I cannot recommend this movie enough to anyone who has not seen it. I'll list the main cast, and say that everyone contributes a great performance: Jeff Bridges as Jack, the deejay who has his "life" fall out from under him, his girlfriend Ann played by Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer as the odd woman that Parry finds himself smitten with, with Robin Williams as Parry. My personal opinion is Williams performs much better in his more dramatic roles, and this is one of his best. He does have some room to play a bit more of an unstable personality type, so to say, but it is in check by the more serious subject matter.

If you find yourself a bit wary of watching a film by Gilliam, this is the one to get, like, this week. It's a great story that looks at love, materialistic shallowness, homelessness, and redemption. A must-see movie that pretty much anyone can enjoy. Sure, the ending is a bit hokey, but in a good way.

Great Scene: The whole movie is terrific, but there is a moment where Jack is kinda stuck waiting in Grand Central Station with one of Parry's associates (played by Tom Waits), who gives Jack a pretty realistic portrayal of how the general public look at the unfortunates cast by the wayside. Plus there's an odd bit played by Michael Jeter as an eccentric Ethel Merman-wanna-be.