Toby, a cynical but supposedly genius film director finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoe-maker who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth - a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?
Again, Gilliam Takes Us on a Thought-Provoking Wild Ride
Maybe it helps to be familiar with Terry Gilliam's canon of work. But as a whole The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a multi-layered story of the Ages of Man. The Dreamer and the Raconteur living in parallel lives.
What's fascinating is how the meanings of each of the characters and their story arcs fold into each other from the director, Terry Gilliam's own life to Adam Driver, playing a Gilliam figure all the way to Jonathan Pryce's man who's seemingly lost his mind. Part of me wonders how much of this is a farcical documentary or auto-biography.
Still as heady as it can be it still entertains. The acting is great, the characters are fully realized and the settings, cinematography and production design are signature styles of Gilliam: hand-crafted to bend to the will of his vision...as mad as it may be.
This is not a run-of-the-mill linear movie. It's not a popcorn flick. There's a lot to interpret and involve the audience so, don't expect instant gratification. To a lot of reviewers it seems they were overwhelmed by an unclear story. Which that may be true for those who don't want to be involved in the story. It asks a bit of self-reflection, it asks a bit of trust that the characters, working on several levels of psychosis, dreams, hallucinations and madness will all come to a natural conclusion in their story arcs and bring the global story of the film into one single point of focus:
We all had dreams once and we got lost. We may remember those dreams in our middle-age and yet in our old age we may become consumed by the dream to point of dreaming of our own existence.
If you like BRAZIL or THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS you will like this film.
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