Thursday, 27 August 2015

Review: The Fisher King

I can't believe I haven't seen…

The Fisher King Poster

The Fisher King (1991)
Cert: 15 / 131 mins / Dir. Terry Gilliam / Trailer
WoB Rating: 6/7

Considering how much I enjoy Terry Giliam's work, it repeatedly surprises me how many of his films I haven't seen (The Fisher King is the first of his movies in this string of reviews, but it won't be the last).

When New York shock-jock Jack's radio career disintegrates after some poorly chosen on-air advice, a chance meeting with a homeless man named Parry offers a chance at personal redemption. But their lives are more intertwined than either of them knew, and they have much to teach - and give - each other...

Always one for a mythical, symbolic quest, The Bonus Python brings us a smart-mouthed tale of psychological collapse, reinforcement and resurgence in a delightfully filthy Big Apple, which feels like Woody Allen helming a mashup of Clerks and Blade Runner (for all the right reasons). His skillful players for this task are Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl (who won an Oscar for her performance, no less), Amanda Plummer, and of course the magnificent Robin Williams who gets to give his full range in this film, yet always under Gilliam's guidance.

The Fisher King is funny, sad, engrossing and utterly charming in a way which few other movies manage, and it's really down to the chemistry of the cast (including Michael Jeter as a down-and-out stage diva, who very nearly outshines Williams himself). The film's core story is layered with metaphor, both obvious and subtle, meaning I'll be watching this for a few years yet. Marvellous stuff.

That said, the posters in the video store for Gilliam's Brazil and Baron Munchausen are a bit of a heavy-handed touch, no?

Have you really never seen this before?
Really; it's just never crossed my path.

So are you glad you've finally have?
Certainly am.

And would you recommend it, now?
Certainly would.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Pretty sure there's one in the hospital scene, yeah.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Robin Williams appeared in The Butler*1, a film which starred Forest Whitaker, who'll be appearing in the Star Wars Anthology*2, film, Rogue One.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Because the film is called "The Butler", not "Lee Daniels' The Butler". This isn't fucking well Phoenix Nights…

*2 At least is was 'Star Wars Anthology', until this week when it's started being officially billed as 'Rogue One - A Star Wars Story. Whatever: "Star Wars: Rogue One" will do me.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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