The Brothers Grimm


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Terry Gilliam's wacky fantasy about the fairytale-spouting Grimm brothers has had a rough critical ride since it premiered at Venice this summer. Perhaps if he had claimed it was based on a graphic novel he would have got a bit more respect. At any rate, here it is: frantic and bombastic, like a multicoloured fairground ride that offers everything but enjoyment. I'm afraid it's going to be a stretch even for Gilliam's biggest fans, but there are flashes of inspiration to keep you from tuning out entirely.

Heath Ledger and Matt Damon are the Grimm boys in early 19th-century Europe, and Gilliam's movie turns them from the idealist scholars of legend into a couple of itinerant tricksters, who blunder into Germany's ancient woodlands like Butch and Sundance reimagined by Angela Carter. Their modus operandi is to target credulous yokels who are terrified of ghosts and witches of their own imagining. They get the peasants to describe the creatures and then, with the aid of underhand tricks and costumes, stage an encounter with the fake beasts for the saucer-eyed villagers' benefit, produce a phoney slaying and take a fat fee.
The Grimms' creativity and natural aptitude for myths have given them a profitable career in crime, but a General (Jonathan Pryce) and a gibberingly sadistic courtier (Peter Stormare) requisition them to tackle a supernatural menace: a wood where children are disappearing, near a haunted tower inhabited by a 500-year-old queen (Monica Bellucci). To our hapless heroes' horror, this fairytale turns out to the be real thing - and the locals are counting on them to do something about it.
There is no point trying to determine the exact moment when this film's zaniness becomes wearing. Arguably it happens almost from the first frame. It is simply Gilliam's natural idiom. If you can take it, fine; if not, then you are in for a very long two hours in the cinema. In many ways his originality and ambition are impressive, even magnificent, yet there is something so complacent and self-congratulatory about it all. And it's difficult to avoid the awful suspicion that all the surreal wackiness is on some kind of Gilliam auto-pilot - and toothless, both dramatically and comically.
In fact, the movie does begin with one interesting invention: the Grimm boys had a sister who died in infancy because one of them was supposed to be selling a cow to pay for her medicine; he was tricked by a roadside huckster into handing over the beast for a handful of "magic beans" - which of course are anything but. It is a clever and interesting idea to have the brothers launch into a wish-fulfilment career of fantasy to nullify that painful reality, a criminal career that also has an element of self-hatred about it, a sense of joining rather than beating the bad guys who effectively killed their sister. But of course, the magic turns out to be real, which makes these psychological implications entirely redundant.
So away we go, whizzing off on another of Gilliam's magical mystery tours, with lots of mythical beasts and moustachioed Ruritanian gents with faces like Toby jugs. And there are some interesting things to be seen along the way. Gilliam has a sprightly if slightly random pastiche of pre-Raphaelite painting, which shows just how visually acute he can be, when he calms the action down enough for these things to be seen.
But the acting is mainly pretty ropey: Ledger and Damon are given default British accents, which are not 100% consistent. Pryce is given little or nothing to do, except raise a sceptical or dismissive eyebrow, and Stormare is desperately unfunny. His grinning and mugging and Italian-a accent-a are all just groanworthy. Three years ago, a compelling documentary Lost in La Mancha told the fascinating story of Gilliam's attempts to film Don Quixote. That chaotic project did not get off the ground. The Grimm Brothers project, on the other hand, indubitably did. Chaos is what they have in common.

aptitude - uzdolnienie, zdolność; skłonność
at any rate- w każdym razie
blunder- błąkać się, błądzić, łazić bez celu
bombastic- bombastyzny, napuszony, pompatyczny
courtier- dworzanin
frantic- szalony, gorączkowy
gibberingly - bełkotliwie
hapless- niefortunny, nieszczęsny
have (sth) in common- mieć (ze sobą) coś wspólnego
huckster- sprzedawca uliczny
indubitably- bez wątpienia, niewątpliwie
itinerant - wędrowny, objazdowy
menace- groźba, zagrożenie
mug- dokonywać rozboju, napadać
phoney - fałszywy, sztuczny
redundant- zbędny
requisition- żądanie, zapotrzebowanie
ropey- kiepski, marny
spout- tryskać
sprightly- żwawy, energiczny
stretch- dłużyzna
trickster - oszust
tune out - wyłączyć się, przestać słuchać
underhand - potajemny; fałszywy
wacky -dziwaczny, ekscentryczny
whizz off- pędzić, mknąć
yokel- wsiok, wieśniak
zaniness- pajacowanie, wygłupy, przedrzeźniactwo





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