Toby, a disillusioned film director, becomes pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality.
A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.
Chloë Grace Moretz,
Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment's pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre.
David Robert Mitchell
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?
Because cheap factory-churned romance still exists, and it deserves equal parts love and parodic rebuke. Because the Inquisition still exists. It's called ICE in America, or the Spanish national police evicting undocumented migrants from their already precarious homes. Because the duke in his castle still exists. He is a Russian magnate that has bought up entire hamlets in southern Spain; he is Putin and Weinstein and Trump rolled into one. Because there are many young women in the "me too" world world for whom the justice these dukes have to offer means exactly nothing.
More than a personal obsession, beyond the self-deprecating and amusing meta-fiction and self-referentiality, this is a movie, much like the notoriously difficult to film source material, about the value of anachronism. About the value of allegedly bygone ideals and ethical principles in a world that too often seems to say to want to be 'over' them. A "post"-modern reflection on the contested value of prefixes. Is Don Quioxote really so old and out of place in our 21st century, as he already was for the 17th century, that we should want to throw him out like last year's iPhone?
The fact that there are still inquisitions and galley slavers alive and well today may make us think twice. That the very idea of "justice for the downtrodden" should be called anachronistic by so many may make us think twice.
The making of the film itself became something of a quixotic enterprise, and that itself seems poetic. In perfect resonance with the source material, which much like Gilliam's film, also happened to be made at a time of incredible violence and censorship toward the most vulnerable among us.
The film can seem opaque at times to those who have not followed Gilliam's exploits or read Cervantes' classic. But being an unapologetic fan of the second, I can confidently say this is an act of careful reading and imaginative reinterpretation for our precarious present: the only kind of reading that matters in the end.
Rest easy, Mr. Gilliam. You did good.
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