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Look out for more coverage of
The Brothers Grimm in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Brothers Grimm

THE STARS:
Matt Damon • Heath Ledger • Jonathan Pryce
• Monica Bellucci
DIRECTOR: Terry Gilliam

Jacob Grimm and The Corpse Queen THE CONCEPT:
The fictionalized adventures of legendary fairytale scribes Will and Jake Grimm, who travel around the Napoleonic countryside vanquishing monsters and demons in exchange for money. But soon the con men are forced to contend with a real magical curse when they enter an enchanted forest, and find themselves in an epic battle between Fantasy and Reality.

U.S. RELEASE: August 26 2005, Nationwide
• Rated: tba

THE COMMENTS:

TERRY GILLIAM:
“In the original script the premise was right. I thought this was about two sort of contemporary wise guys going into ‘ye olde Germany,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s very much like The Mummy. It was the kind of script that gets made in Hollywood, but to me it needed a lot more fairy tale enchantment, magic. The characters were all a bit stock, and we had to work on the brothers being split into the realist and the dreamer. There was a lot of brilliant, clever stuff in it, but I thought I’d seen a lot of it before. So we degraded the whole project and brought it down to the kind of movie that normally doesn’t get made [he laughs].”

MATT DAMON:
“I took this to work with Terry Gilliam. I would’ve played any role in this movie just to work with him. But both and Heath and I asked, ‘Hey, is there any way that you could change our roles?’ Terry said that he had done that for Twelve Monkeys. He said Brad [Pitt] and Bruce [Willis] were known for the other kind of role, and he switched them and thought that it was a lot more fun to work that way. So he said yeah.”

HEATH LEDGER:
“The idea was that we didn’t play them as these heroic brave figures. We played them as cowardly. We screamed like little schoolgirls.”

GILLIAM:
“Matt and Heath brought intelligence and believability to the picture. They’re the core of the thing. If their brotherhood didn’t work, there wouldn’t be a movie there. And they just clicked very quickly. And they’re very different people.”

LEDGER:
“To a certain degree we had to [bond] for the film, but I think it just happened anyway. Befriending each other wasn’t hard. We had four weeks before shooting the film where we were doing accents and horse riding. It was just shaping our characters.”

DAMON on doing the English accent:
“It was easier for Heath than me. I can do accents in this country, but I had a real problem hearing it, and I think that it’s just sounds that we don’t have in America.”

GILLIAM:
“I like making a film with lots of stuff in there, sometimes contradictory, sometimes surprising, so that it’s never just a serious journey, where there’s irony in it and there’s laughs in it. I think that’s what life is supposed to be like. Obviously, a lot of people don’t like that. They like their meals served up very simply. But I end up with a little bit of sushi, a little bit of cordon bleu, a little taco – and it makes some people sick.” [he laughs]

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Brothers Grimm site
Images above © Dimension Films
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #661, September 2005 cover

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