Fisher King ~ The Greatness to Which Other Films Try To Aspire
Jul 15, 2005 (Updated Jul 15, 2005)
Review by drdevience
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Williams, Bridges, imagery
Cons:not a damn one
The Bottom Line: Did you lose your mind all at once, or was it a slow, gradual process?
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Some movies are so good that you just don't think you can ever possibly do them justice with a 5 star scale. The Fisher King is one of those movies. I'm giving it 5 stars, but feel that isn't adequate. On a 5 scale, it deserves 10.
Tagline: A Modern Day Tale About The Search For Love, Sanity, Ethel Merman And The Holy Grail.
What we have here is a DJ played by Jeff Bridges (in his best role ever.) This guy is cocky and arrogant and is looking at his own SitCom. He has a regular caller to his radio program who he kinda toys with off and on. The guy calls in one night and Bridges does his little dance on his head, resulting in the guy snapping majorly and going into a club and killing some folks.
Bridges loses the SitCom gig over it and goes into a long downhill slide into alcohol and self pity.. until he runs across a seemingly schizophrenic street person (Robin Williams). Their lives become entangled in a web of perfect karma.
This is one of those movies I can just watch over and over. It is a beautiful story of madness and ego defense mechanisms and learning to be human.
Williams and Bridges are two names I would have never thrown together in a movie, but they play magnificently together. It was an inspired pairing and is the main reason this works as well as it does. Williams is one of the most versatile actors around and his portrayal of the tortured homeless guy is outstanding. He's funny, pathetic, wise, tortured... just a myriad of things and Williams is a master at switching between them all in a blink of an eye. So much so that I used this film as a teaching aid in a few psych classes. It's a wonderful way to show budding shrinks that things are not always what they seem on the surface and you cannot diagnose someone based on presenting information only. You need to dig.
Bridges fights his human side every step of the way, but he knows there is something more going on here and lets his gut lead even though his innate egocentricity keeps trying to pull him away. Somehow, he know his own salvation lies at the feet of this wacko homeless guy.
Everything is just interwoven so damn beautifully. I'll go so far as to say it's psychological masterpiece. The twists are sometimes pretty apparent... but not always.
One of my favorite parts of the visual effects in this is when Williams gets close to the surface of things and the Red Knight appears to be chasing him down. Brilliantly written and brilliantly executed. You would never guess that this is one of Terry Gilliam's babys at all. I guess the Red Knight could be a hint and a salute to his Monty Python roots, but it isn't in there as an aside at all. It fits, well, brilliantly.
Fisher King has an R rating in the USA. That's for language and for Williams getting butt nekkid. I don't care what the raters say. If your kid wants to watch it at about 13 and up, let them. The message here is much more important than the perceived drawbacks, and none of the language or the nekkidness is going to warp your kid. They hear this crap in grade school...
Did I say 10 stars out of 5? Make that 15. This one should be in everybody's collection.
It's important to think. It's what separates us from lentils.
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