Friday, April 23, 2010

The Fisher King [1991]

The Fisher King [1991, directed by Terry Gilliam]

A self-centered radio shock jock Jack Lucas (played by Jeff Bridges) provokes one of his listeners – who takes the provocation as a call to violence – instead of just “shocking”. Three-years later the shock jock is still in a drunken stupor looking for redemption – when he comes across a homeless man Perry (played by Robin Williams) – who was a victim of the violent act he provoked. Jack thinks if he can help Perry – he karma will be right again.

It’s still one of my favorite Terry Gilliam films – yet in my most recent viewing I started to see some of the drags in the story – and it’s starting to feel more dated. I think the way Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges play off each other is spot on. Robin’s energy works well for a character that’s both whimsical and crazy – and as I look over my DVD shelf I’m not surprised that this might be the only Williams film found on it. I really liked how this film touches on several of the Gilliam themes from his previous works (to that point) – with the holy grail (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), the dark rider (Jabberwocky), the little person walking past the train station (Time Bandits), cross dressing (Monty Python’s Flying Circus) – and even a mental hospital which he’d feature later in 12 Monkeys.

The train station scene (which is a famous New York landmark and it’s name escapes me) is still one of the best scenes ever. So, I’ll still give it a 5 out of 5 – but it’s falling down a few notches on my favorite film list – as it’s not holding up on multiple viewings.


  1. I just can't watch Robin Williams any more.

  2. It's all right - I don't blame you.