The Fisher King (1991) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake. Runtime: 137 mins Release Date: 27 Sep 1991
Robin Williams should have won an Oscar for this movie (by lee_eisenberg)
"The Fisher King" is one of those movies that shows how, although we can't get over certain incidents, they may end up leading to our redemption. Jeff Bridges plays Jack Lucas, a New York radio talk show host. One day, he makes a mean remark to one of his listeners, and the listener murders some people. When it gets reported that the man had done this after a remark by Lucas, Jack knows that his career is over, but also realizes how he has been affecting people.Some years later, Jack is wondering the streets and meets Parry Robin Williams , a homeless man whose mind is gone. <more>
Parry believes Jack to be a sort of hero and Jack can't get him to think otherwise. So, the two accompany each other from then on.Probably the movie's most interesting aspect was how director Terry Gilliam shows what is happening in Parry's imagination, contrasting it with reality. The Red Knight and Holy Grail make for some unusual scenes. This may be Robin Williams' best performance ever.
Coming From A Completely Different Direction Than Any Film Remotely Like It (by jzappa)
The Fisher King can be viewed as an oddball dramedy like several others during one's initial viewing, but then suddenly you're struck by the hallucinations of Robin Williams's character, namely the sight of the large, outlandish, scorching red figure of a demonic knight coming to kill him. Things like this seem at once to throw the film out of balance a little bit, like the film is making a straight line and suddenly makes a sharp and brief stab upward, and then back down to continue the line in the straight way it was before. One has to think about The Fisher King and realize <more>
just how largely, outlandishly, scorchingly different it is. Think about this plot when you're watching the film. You'll realize how well it modestly unravels instead of contriving itself to mystify us. The filmmakers show no ego and are not interested in impressing themselves. They are telling their vivid, dynamic story the way good films are made. The story is just completely fresh and new. And with that in mind, thinking outside the box along with Terry Gilliam and Richard LaGravanese, one shouldn't even think of the brief sporadic fantasies the film splashes at us here and there as anything so jolting.Jeff Bridges turns in a fantastic, despicably likable performance. I say this not so much because I believe he has a universal effect on anyone who understands or enjoys the movie. I say this more because I related to him greatly. I felt like his character was very familiar with his self-centered angst, bitterness lathered on top, an emotional and sexual nature quite like mine, and frankly the performance in a serious relationship quite like mine. Bridges, who I have always thought of as a very good actor, has my kudos for understanding to the point of successful portrayal a type of person who is rarely completely understood.Robin Williams, constantly underrated at this point for his self-indulgent bombast and personally difficult, nonstop communication of his sense of humor, is proved in this, as well as several other films I could mention, that he has true talent and feels his characters to the very core and projects as such. It is not and never has been right to reduce judgment upon him to surprisingly shameless look-at-me-fests like Mrs. Doubtfire, Patch Adams, and Good Morning, Vietnam, because he has always been tremendously capable. Above all, I think he is an actor whose work is founded upon intuition. He communicates his physical and psychological portrayal by emotional understanding and deep feeling. When you watch this film, do you not have that clutching grip upon his character's pain? Are you not taking that journey face to face with him?Mercedes Ruehl is not a token here. She is not just the voluptuous Brooklyn Jew girlfriend who nags, criticizes men, and makes dinner the whole time. That is the way her character lays out, because that is the path the emotional position of her presence in the story leads. She is perhaps the strongest, most decisive, and understanding person of all four main characters, and believably so. She is also very sexy and very natural. Take the scene with her and Bridges stumbling with laughter down the street after the dinner scene. She is quite real in a scene that with many other players would've been annoyingly not so.Amanda Plummer is a sad portrait of a very realistic person, ironically enough in a film that is greatly surreal. She is the lone wolf that drifts through life, crippled by a complete lack of self-assurance and with age has become extremely used to it. Plummer's rich, seldom screen time is great, very wise acting. When she is suddenly accosted by the attention and adoration of these other three people, she reacts, and I feel like I know many people who would react the same way.The Fisher King is in my opinion the first great film Terry Gilliam ever made. He had never made a bad film before this one, but this is the film that really made me connect. It's filled with emotional understanding of the human condition and a parallel story and cinematic style that are so acutely unique and naturally offbeat. It is among the definitive Gilliam films. Perhaps the click that sounded off for a truly effective film came with the connection of very similar, very compatible perspectives between the writer and the director. It's a determined, forceful, emotional, passionate, and secretive movie.
This movie should be on everyone's "must-see" list (by LJMTitle)
A touching yet humorous tale, THE FISHER KING brings together amongst the best performances given by Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, as well as Terry Gilliam's finest directorial effort. Solid supporting performances by Amanda Plummer and Mercedes Ruehl round out a great film that ranks among my personal favorites.Bridges portrays an arrogant radio shock-jock, who's big mouth and flippant comments send a disturbed listener on a murderous rampage, thus ending his career. Enter Ruehl as his new enabler girlfriend, waiting patiently for him to drag himself up from the dregs, hoping to <more>
catch a ride to the top. Just when Bridges seems to have hit rock bottom, he encounters Williams, a crazed vagrant who thinks he is a knight in shining armor.What ensues is a tale of remorse, redemption and rebirth which is made all the more magical by Gilliam's magnificent vision. Most notable is a scene which takes place in Grand Central Station where the hustle and bustle of the busy commuters dissolves into a spectacular waltz as Williams follows Plummer, the woman of his dreams. Gilliam's style makes Williams delusions come alive as the character makes the slow journey from trauma-induced insanity to stark, yet hopeful, reality. Every character in this film undergoes a metamorphosis, each learning from the others along the transformation. It is a beautiful film to watch, and an achievement to all involved that subject matter of such depth can come across with such humor and with such beauty.
A great mix of King Arthur and Don Quixote fill the air in this savagely funny and heartwrenching film from Terry Gilliam. Bridges plays Jack Lucas, a bastardizing shock radio personality I imagine Howard Stern was the inspiration who makes career shattering comments to a caller who then runs amuck with a shotgun killing innocent people and then himself. Years pass, as do opportunities for television gigs and Jack wants to end his life. Enter Parry, played to perfection by Robin Williams. Parry is a knight in search of the Holy Grail and he invites Jack into his quest. Aside from his quest <more>
for the Grail, Parry also has his heart set on his damsel in distress, played wickedly by Amanda Plummer. Mercedes Ruehl shines in her Oscar winning role as Jack's tough as nails girlfriend. Director Gilliam shifts beautifully from comedy to adventure to tragedy and even to musical. A performance also worthy of notice comes from Michael Jeter, who does the best version of "Everything's Coming Up Roses," since "The Merm" herself. Williams received a much deserved nomination, as did the wonderful script from Richard LaGraverse.
Arguably Gilliam's best film, and certainly his best acted. As usual, Bridges is completely natural and absorbed in his role. This is the only time I've seen Robin Williams combine his best humor with his severe talent for dramatic work. He seamlessly switches from being wildly charismatic to being an empathetic, heart broken man just trying to escape his past. The basic structure is one which has been done many times, but never has it been mastered as Gilliam has done. The parallels in the story are remarkable. Parry's name being short for Parsifal, a knight of the Holy Grail. <more>
Parry saves Jack just as Parsifal saved the Fisher King. Also, Parry's flight from the Red Knight is reflected from Parsifal's battle with the Red Knight. Another parallel is seen when Parry's haunted past is brought back to him after kissing Lydia, just as Parsifal is reawakened after kissing Kundry. Gilliam creates all of this beautifully, yet keeps it very subtle and light. The film itself combines outrageous humor, heartwrenching drama and even some thrilling chase scenes. The hallucinations and flashbacks also have a very haunting ambiance to them. The film really is a tour de force on all fronts. As always, Gilliam creates a very haunting yet comfortable ambiance through some of the best cinematography I've ever seen.
A haunting, under-appreciated work (by rickbu-297-808100)
"You find some pretty wonderful things in the trash" -- ParryThe now-classic waltz scene in Grand Central never fails to touch me in some almost- indescribable way, signifying to me the hidden beauty that lies unnoticed, unrealized, beneath the grit of everyday life, because we never think to look for it.And it's a metaphor for the characters in the movie, too - most are deeply flawed, damaged, whose faults are made plain - yet Gilliam finds and reveals their inner beauty - their dignity, their worth, their joy, their wisdom.The movie is, by turns, screamingly funny, touching, <more>
and frightening - the threatening manifestation of Parry's memories, and Parry's terror at it's approach is hair-raising - and affecting, as the nature and source of the monster is revealed.Despite the sudden changes in perspective and tone, Gilliam manages this deftly, and with subtlety. His approach seems a little less ambiguous than some of his other works, and so might be more accessible to audiences - yet never patronizing, nor clichéd. The dialog is often rich and revealing, and Gilliam's distinctive visual sensibility, while muted, remains recognizable - the film is beautifully shot.The acting in this is superlative - Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Jeff Bridges, and Amanda Plummer all deliver incredible performances - yet Michael Jeter's scenes were perhaps the best of all, his laugh-until-you-cry scenes were just stunning.When you look at Gilliam's filmography, you can't help but notice this constant - he has great actors, delivering some of the best performances of their careers - for instance, I still think the performances by Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt in "12 Monkeys" were among their very best in their careers - this cannot be coincidence.
Wow! Sooooooooo overlooked. A mini-masterpiece (by mtnhi)
I've watched Robin Williams/Jeff Bridges in this "fairytale" more times than I count. Finally bought it. You have to watch it at least twice , in my opinion,because the first time all I could do was try to let it "settle in".I love movies that hit me broadsided and then blind me! I keep trying to watch it with my daughter, who only likes love stories, but if I can keep her still long enough she'll find out that this IS a love story, of the most incredible kind. A love story for all mankind.I hate to gush, but if it's ever called for, it's called for <more>
here.The first time I saw it, I was soooooooo impressed with Mercedes Rhuel's performance and actually said to my friend in the theatre, "That woman's gonna get nominated for the Oscar for this performance", which of course she won for her performance. So, I'm not so unsophisticated after all.
Beautiful, Melancholic Fairy Tale (by gogoschka-1)
A beautiful fairy tale. Very funny, yet also sad, poetic, melancholic - one of Gilliam's best. Jeff Bridges gives a great performance and Robin Williams an outstanding one. Visually this is pure Gilliam, playful and slightly surreal - a rare treat. 8 stars out of 10.In case you're interested in more underrated masterpieces, here's some of my favorites:imdb.com/list/ls070242495
Parsifal in New York (by Ana_Banana)
Above all, what makes this film so special is the way in which the sacred and symbols were made a part of everyday life and of everyday people. Of course, we have Gilliam's usual shifts between "reality" and "imagination" sometimes very hard to deal with clearly , between "comedy" and tragedy, and between roles both main characters are Amfortas and Parsifal in turn or at once . And despite its tame "happy end" which I found predictable - ought I say that about a Gilliam movie?! , it's a sad film. You find happy end only in imagination, so say <more>
the fireworks of the final scene. "Comedy is acting optimistic", says Robin Williams. Or perhaps this isn't sad at all, it's just the real way out? The mind is shaping reality. Man, this movie makes you think, doesn't it?