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The Fisher King
6 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Terry Gilliam

Written By:
Richard LaGravenese

Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Amanda Plummer, Mercedes Ruehl, Michael Jeter, Harry Shearer, John de Lancie, Kathy Najimy, David Hyde Pierce

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The Fisher King (1991)
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Movie Review by Jessica Film Junkie
April 7th, 2007

Style Fits Substance

One of Terry Gilliam's best films is this story of a man losing his way in life (Jeff Bridges) and another man losing his mind because of the circumstances of his life (Robin Williams).

This is a story of male friendship amidst an uncaring world. It is a story of finding love among tragedy and regret. Above all, it is a story of allowing oneself to be surprised by life.

Robin Williams was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Parry, the homeless man haunted by personal tragedy. He is not trying as hard to be funny as he does in many films, and thus the role allows him to be surprisingly real. He is brilliant in the moments where Parry loses himself to his imagination, as well as in the fantastic love story with Amanda Plummer who meets him with an equally bizarre characterization.

Jeff Bridges is all swagger and ego, everything the 80's taught his Jack to be. He discovers in his friendship with Parry everything he thought he never needed: actual human contact, a connection to someone other than himself.

The highlight of this movie for me was Mercedes Ruehl as Jack's girlfriend, Anne. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this role as a woman who wants a connection that Jack, or any other man for that matter, seems incapable of giving her. We feel like punching Jack everytime he shows little or no appreciation for her. She is the heart and soul of so many women who are used and forgotten by a man obsessed with his own demons.

This is the only Gilliam film I have ever seen where his style fits with the substance of the film. In so many of his films, his style overpowers and doesn't fit into the rest of the piece. Here, the homelessness of Parry and his friends allows Gilliam to create mad images while not throwing us out of the story.

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