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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Fisher King [DVD]
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on 21 December 2014
At its heart, The Fisher King is a simple story about forgiveness, but, with the Gilliam style. Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams play off one another very well. Mercedes Ruehl won best supporting actress, with Amanda Plummer and Michael Jeter delivering amazing character performances. Gilliams use of his classic hyper surreal ultra decay imagery enhances the fantastic aspects of the story illustrating Perrys ( Williams ) delusion and Lucas' ( Bridges ) descent into eventual acceptance of said delusion. Even more poignant today, the speech made by Tom Waits perfectly summarizes the modern plight of the worker and Gilliams trademark style paints the two worlds of rich and poor starkly.

This film is a must see for any true lover of film.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2003
This is a beautifully directed film, as Terry Gilliam exacts bravura performances from the entire cast. This film is a cinematic masterpiece that the viewer will not easily forget.
Jeff Bridges plays Jack, a radio shock jock whose unthinking tirade provokes a caller into a senseless act of violence that culminates in tragedy for a number of faceless New Yorkers. The tragedy derails Jack's career and ends his glitterati lifestyle. Gone is the fabulous hi-rise apartment, the model type, trophy girl friend, and the high paying media career.
Three years later, Jack finds himself living over a video store in a run down part of town with the video store owner, a blue collar ex-beautician, consummately played by Mercedes Ruehl, in a bravura performance that won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, and deservedly so. Despairing of his life and looking like the bum he believes himself to be, Jack goes down by the water front and toys with the idea of killing himself.
The issue is taken out of his hands when he is accosted by two youths who are sick of "his kind", as they apparently mistake him for part of the great unwashed horde of humanity of which they are heartedly sick. They beat him with a baseball bat and douse him from head to toe with gasoline, but just before they ignite him, a knight errant named Parry, touchingly played by Robin Williams, comes to his rescue and saves him from an untimely and excruciating death.
Parry takes Jack to his refuge, and there Parry tells him of his quest for the Holy Grail. A curious bond between the two men begins to form. After Jack leaves, he later returns, curious to know more about this strange, but kindly individual who saved his life. Jack discovers that Parry was a former college professor whose own life drastically changed three years ago, when a caller to a shock jock's show went on a shooting rampage and killed Parry's beloved wife, one of the faceless New Yorkers who for Jack is faceless no more.
Jack, realizing that their lives are intertwined by that tragedy, seeks redemption by trying to help Parry resume a normal life. Clearly mentally ill, Parry's battle with his inner demons is seen through his eyes. The viewer is made to feel the heartbreak and pathos of his fears which are brought to life in the fearsome visage of the Red Knight, a figment of Parry's imagination who appears intermittently throughout the film, until it gives way to Parry's fragmented recollection of that fatal night three years ago. Robin Williams portrayal of Parry is one of the most beautifully nuanced performances ever. That he did not win the Best Actor Oscar for which he was nominated was truly a major faux pas on the part of the Academy.
Jack wades through Parry's fantasies of knights, quests, and the holy grail and discovers that Parry has fallen in love with an unlikely lady, the plainly hapless Lydia, played to perfection by Amanda Plummer. He engineers an unlikely meeting and sets in motion a dazzling sequence of events that ultimately results in his redemption as a human being, and an appreciation of his own lady love.
This is a wonderful film without which no movie lover should be.
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on 9 March 2009
A must see for everyone.
There's a bit of everything in this film, fantasy, love, humour and much more. Theres gritty scenes, swank moments and totally mind blowing moments.
For me this is Robin William's best film, yet without stealing the show, because Jeff Bridges has a more than equal part as well.
All the character's evolve nicely in the story, and each touchs you in a different way, i can't believe i waited so long before tracking this film down.
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on 7 August 2007
No one could accuse Terry Gilliam of being conventional. Understatement of the year, I realise, but when you really look at this film and its message(s) there is ultimately quite a simple premise at work - the triumph of altruism over ego. Both Parry and Jack are forced to over-come this by the same hideous event while Jack's poor wife remains the staunch figure of altruism (sometimes despite herself) throughout.
That said, the manner in which this is conveyed is typical Gilliam - visual metaphors illuminate the screen at every turn, dazzling the audience no matter what the focus of the scene may be. It is, put simply, the clearly recongisable work of one of the few contemporary film-makers who truly deserve the tag "auteur" - each and every shot kind of grimy but colourful at the same time. Every character somewhat unusual yet played with a sense of warmth. If you are a fan, you will know what I mean.
Jeff Bridges turns in (as usual) an amazing performance - by turns arrogant, and pathetic (sometimes both) as does Williams who is his usual manic self but delivered with the kind of pathos that he would come to use in later films such as One Hour Photo. Really, though, it is Mercedes Ruell as Jack's long-suffering wife who brings the whole film together. Her perpetually nasal (deliberately so, of course) New York whine complementing her tortured character's attempts to rehabilitate her husband and stand by him no matter what happens - or how he treats her.
The film is, like so many (particularly another favourite of mine It's A Wonderful Life) loosely branded "soppy", actually pretty dark - its sentimentality having been drawn out of tragedy and the manner in which people cope with it. Ok, so the fact that it is coped with via the central character undertaking a mystical mission may seem a little trite - but if you recognise that this really is a symptom of mental illness (in the character of Parry) then you may start to recognise just how interesting and important - certainly not soppy - this film is.
Oh, and Robin Williams may have sullied his reputatation by starring in one-too-many sugary feel-good films, but this isn't one of them. Those who dislike him on that basis alone should sit down and watch this, perhaps followed by The World According to Garp and maybe some of his early stand-up and re-assess their opinions......
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on 25 February 2016
Not much
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on 15 April 2001
Jeff Bridges gives a powerful performance as D.J Jack Lucas, blinded by his own image until one day he gives the wrong advice to the wrong man live on his radio show,resulting in the death of innocent people.Taking Jack Lucas down the road to total destruction of himself, until he is befriened by Parry played by Robin Williams. A vargrant who's mind was shattered when his wife was killed by crazed guman, sending him into a world of fantasy in which he has to find the holy grail.Seeing Jack Lucas as his saviour they both take on a journey of compassion and trust,and to the ultimite goal True Friendship.
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on 21 November 2003
Terry Gilliam's films are always worth catching, and this is my favourite of them all. The story of redemption and triumph over tragedy makes this the most poignant of the fantastic stories that Gilliam has told in his unique cinematic way.
Like The Shawshank Redemption, this film is a treasure many never heard of upon it's release, or if they did, seem to have forgotten. Starring the almost demonic Jeff Bridges as Jack Lucas, a 'shock jock' who blames himself for inciting a listener to murder, the story catches up with him as his drunken self-loathing leads him to the brink of suicide. Enter Robin Williams as Parry, a seemingly unhinged tramp, whose decline was triggered by the death of his wife in the shootings Jack feels responsible for. The pair battle together for each other's sanity in a tale that encompasses Arthurian myth, knights on horseback in central park, and love blossoming in chinese restaurants.
While emotionally wrenching at times, this is still a beautiful, whimsical, and even very funny journey, with the price of entry justified by the real story of the Fisher King that Parry tells Jack in central park alone.
You'll laugh, cry, and swear off eating dumplings in public, but this is a small price to pay, as is the cost of the title. Even if Monty Python was never your thing, and Twelve Monkeys was just too sci-fi for your taste, still this film deserves a place in everyone's collection.
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on 3 May 2004
What do you expect from a Terry Gilliam film? Something inventive, an entertaining but thought-provoking take on the human condition? A meaningful story shot with the imagination and cheerful dismissal to reality, which ironically brings the movie closer to home?
I saw 'Brazil' a few months ago, and didn't think cinema could get any better. I bought 'Fisher King' with the expectation that it would be good, but dominated by the huge personalities of Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. I didn't expect anything close to what I'd seen in 'Brazil'. But, contrary to what I'd expected the big on-screen personalities work in perfect harmony to this wacky world Gilliam presented us with.
A perfect script, a perfect cast, a perfect director. Perfect.
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on 15 December 2004
The Fisher King is a film you can watch repeatedly, and see a new aspect each time. On the surface is a slightly odd story of a DJ turning from a nasty man into a nice one. Then there's the story of a marriage that learns honesty and trust. There's a beautiful romance between a tramp and a librarian. And then there is the full Christian gospel spelt out as a subtext, clear as day:
* Bloke severely stuffs up and wrecks someone's life
* Is asked to do something that makes no sense to put things right again
* Tries every which way to make things right in his own strength
* Eventually does the weird thing he was asked to do in the first place, and things are put right again
Fantastic film. Watch it over and over. Forget about the swearing. Learn how humility can win over arrogance, weakness can overcome strength, and goodness be brought from the most dark of situations!
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on 1 December 2015
the most stupid picture I have seen for a long time!
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