26 August 2005 | moonstarly
Well, my friends, I have just returned from the earliest possible showing of "Brothers Grimm" in my area, and I can assure you it was well worth getting up a few hours earlier than usual to watch. However, I would caution anyone who doesn't like Terry Gilliam's work, Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, or the REAL brothers Grimms' stories that this is not your average fantasy. The story is set in french-occupied Germany in the 1700s, a real time in which real people actually lived. Even some of the magical aspects of the story are explained by real events (I won't spoil it for you). So quite a bit of the plot deals with the realities of the day and age along with the fantastical aspects of the forest and its inhabitants.
That being said, the story also deals with the opposite side of unreality-- the dark and unnaturally gruesome. This is where I think the writer hit on a brilliant point; while the real brothers' stories have happy endings and some lighthearted moments, most if not all of their stories involve some degree of blood and gore. My hat is off to Ehren Kruger for being true to that aspect of their work.
The only aspects of this movie I disliked were the unresolved ending (which I won't spoil, either) and some of the acting. Lena Headey's performance did not impress me, but it could just be lack of material to work with (a very overdone character) and the fact that I've never seen any of her other work. Matt Damon is interesting to watch as usual. Peter Stormare and Jonathan Pryce are wacky to the point of annoyance as an Italian torture specialist and a French general. The only truly wonderful performance, however, is that of Mr. Ledger, whose bumbling, scholarly, tag-along Jacob was both a sympathetic character and a side we rarely see from this multi-talented actor.
This is not a movie for everyone (I wouldn't bring children with the tendency for nightmares or irrational fears, for example). It's not a movie you'll learn from or probably want to see hundreds of times. But for the moviegoer looking for beautiful cinematography, a few good laughs, and a fairly suspenseful story, look no further.