A Look Back at ‘The Brothers Grimm’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Brothers Grimm starring Heath Ledger, Matt Damon and Lena Headey
‘The Brothers Grimm’ starring Heath Ledger, Matt Damon and Lena Headey

Let me begin with an excerpt from the Wikipedia page because it accurately says everything about what this film is about and who stars in it:

“The Brothers Grimm is a 2005 adventure fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam. The film stars Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, and Lena Headey in an exaggerated and fictitious portrait of the Brothers Grimm as traveling con artists in French-occupied Germany during the early 19th century. However, the brothers eventually encounter a genuine fairy tale curse which requires real courage instead of their usual bogus exorcisms.”

The film received mixed reviews from critics and audiences but me, I loved it. It was such a fun and twisted film and captured the dark and gritty side of the fairy tales by creating a fairy tale film and throwing combining realism with fantasy in a well-structured way.

From the beginning, the relationship between the brothers is made very apparent by combining their story with that of Jack and the Beanstalk. They have a very difficult relationship with each other that echoes throughout the film, making this a movie about moving on from the past and growing as a unified hole. It’s about brotherhood, which is what the Grimm brothers were all about, spreading brotherhood through their French occupied country that had lost itself. So the themes of the film really echo throughout the film and represent an actual aspect of history, granted in a very different way, and I like that, I enjoyed that and I loved that the film did that because it elevated the platform of this film.

Heath Ledger and Matt Damon really played strong characters and they both brought out two sides of the characters, a soft side and a harsh side and they both represent the realism and the surrealism of the film. And their performances were amazing! These are two actors who are phenomenal and they made this film phenomenal.

But there was definitely something that caught me off guard as I re-watched it was how dirty, gritty and gruesome this film was. It caught me off guard and on some level it was too gruesome for me and it did bother me a bit, especially the one scene with a kitten, that really bothered me and I just, I had to turn away from it because it was gruesome and too much. That was one thing this film had a little too much of, the gruesome and I think that is just because the film itself I think was trying to replicate some of the gruesome aspects of the Grimm Fairy Tales, which was both hit and miss in the film. Some were good and fit the story, others were inconsequential to the film and just didn’t film.

And I totally forgot that Lena Headey was in this film so that was a nice surprise. She’s such a powerful woman who brings to life such strong characters. She has the perfect dynamic between both Ledger and Damon to make sure that the film didn’t turn into some twisted love triangle and detract from the story. It’s there, but it’s not the center focus of the story. No the center focus of the story is all about the fairy tales and the magic they inspire, the imaginations they inspire. This is a tale of the wicked queen and her quest for immortality and beauty. Her vanity is her downfall and she couldn’t have been played by anyone better than the lovely Monica Bellucci. Monica Bellucci is a star and such a beauty in everything she does, I only wish she would do more.

But at the end of the day, I give this movie a solid B- because while it was a good movie, one I thoroughly enjoy and think everyone should watch. Besides it has Heath Ledger and he’s amazing.

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