After hearing a popular DJ rail against yuppies, a madman carries out a massacre in a popular New York bar. Dejected and remorseful, the DJ strikes up a friendship with Parry, a former professor who became unhinged and then homeless after witnessing his wife's violent death in the bar shooting. The DJ seeks redemption by helping Parry in his quest to recover an item that he believes is the Holy Grail and to win the heart of the woman he loves. Written by
Jim Sanders and Determined Copy Editor
Terry Gilliam has made a lot of good films and a couple of great ones(namely Twelve Monkeys and Brazil)this, though could well be his best.
For starters there is the cast.Jeff Bridges,officially the most underrated actor of his generation, giving a performance that veers from one end of the spectrum to the other almost imperceptibly.From comedy to tragedy and back again.
Robin Williams- a great comedian and a better actor than he is given credit for.Fair enough he does tend to go through spells of making films primarily for his kids (Mrs.Doubtfire, Hook, Jack) but when he does decide to buckle down and do a serious role he rarely disappoints (Good Will Hunting, Insomnia, Dead Poets Society).It is with this role though that Williams gives what is the best of his career to date,as Parry. He is undoubtedly insane, but it is not yet too late for him, he justs needs someone to take the effort to save him, and if it had not been for Bridges colossal mistake and subsequent search for redemption, no-one would have done it, and he would never have survived, merely another casualty of another one of Gilliams nightmarish cityscapes. Mercedes Ruehl is perfect as Bridges suffering girlfriend.She thinks of herself as hard-bitten a survivor, and yet she continues to stay with Bridges, trying to prove to herself that she has the strength to change him, to redeem him. She wants to be his saviour, and yet he comes in the shape of a homeless madman, prone to dancing naked in Central Park and seeing floating fairies whilst defecating.The Fisher King is a movie about hope, despair and redemption, and all of the human conditions that fit in between.It contains one of the most inspired,beautiful scenes in recent memory,as Grand Central station transforms from a dingy,noisy concrete hole into a luscious, gorgeous ballroom, simply because of Lydia, Parrys love, the one thing that keeps him grounded in any semblance of reality.The chinese restaurant double- date in which Parry connects with her for the first time is both funny and touching, and makes what comes after even more tragic.
It is at times tragic,brutal even but it's heart cannot be doubted,and it remains a wonderful success.
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