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The Fisher King Reviews

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September 15, 2014
A strange story homeless man who has an unlikely friend. They both encourage each other to live.
September 14, 2014
This film is perfectly cast. Jeff Bridges does a wonderful job playing both extremes of his character. Same with Robin Williams. The plot can be a bit slow at times, but it's still an interesting character study and the development of their friendship.
December 14, 2013
While not the absolute best I've seen from Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges or Terry Gilliam, THE FISHER KING is still wonderful tale of friendship, love, and loss. Jeff Bridges plays Jack Lucas, a rather callous shock jock who makes a rather offhand remark that influences a listener to commit a murder-suicide. Robin Williams is Parry, a homeless man whose life was severely affected by that act. As the film progresses, the two of them come together and help each other deal with loss in their own ways. While the theme of loss, and accepting it in order to move on, is a subject that's been shown many times in film, Terry Gilliam finds a way to make it seem fresh with his wit and unmistakable cinematic style, even though it's toned down here considerably. Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams also give outstanding performances that are properly nuanced and full of emotional depth. There is also several really funny scenes which showcase Robin Williams gift for humor, despite not being as manic as he can be. Here, his "insanity" is a cover for some deeply held emotion regarding his past (not unlike many comics in real life whose gift for humor masks very real pain). Jeff Bridges also has pain of his own, in the form of guilt over that incident which resulted from his on-air comment. The journey on which these two go, represented in Parry's mind by a quest for a holy grail (Monty Python?) was fascinating and gripping. Gilliam also gets to indulge in some fantastical imagery, as Parry imagines himself a knight with an evil, fiery Red Knight in pursuit of him. However, despite whatever trappings the story might come in, the performances are what make the film. Also of note is Mercedes Ruehl, who also turns in an outstanding showing as Jack's live-in girlfriend (technicallly, he's her live-in boyfriend). I read online that she won a Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance, and from what I witnessed she definitely deserved it. If there's one issue I take with the story, it's that it perpetuates the movie stereotype of the wise and wacky homeless man, even though Robin Williams plays it so well. Overall, it was a pleasantly satisfying experience that spoke to me on a personal level, and that I enjoyed watching.
September 1, 2014
Williams and Bridges give some good performances, but the 90's style and fashion of the film takes me out of it a bit.
August 31, 2014
Really bizarre with a lot of heart. Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Brazil.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

October 8, 2007
An intriguingly original mix of fantasy, drama, and comedy concerning a brash radio host (Jeff Bridges) who feels responsible once one of his listeners goes off the edge and goes on a shooting spree. One of those affected by this tragedy, now a crazed homeless man (Robin Williams), crosses paths with the now haunted DJ, and the radio host feels this is his chance at redemption, even though his girlfriend (Mercedes Ruehl) is not supportive of it at first. Director Terry Gilliam is well known for being fairly whimsical and goofy with his material, and this film is no exception. It feels a tad unnecessary at times, but the script itself is so strong, and the performances are all so, so good, that this film remains likeable throughout its running time. It balances a lot of heavy material such as loneliness, madness, and depression very well, and New York City proves to be the perfect backdrop for a story such as this one.
August 30, 2014
Watched this again on Netflix the other night. One of my all-time favorites and probably the movie that made me a Jeff Bridges fan for life (I was already a fan of Williams and Gilliam). Everyone is just in top form, and yes, the ending may be a bit of a copout, but still, this was and is magical filmmaking to me.
November 21, 2011
This movie is so moving and amazing. I am so glad I watched this one!
August 29, 2014
In a modern adaptation, I would cut out all the slow parts and just make do with all the good ones. The movie suffers from flashes of meandering that if cut out, would probably make this movie really top notch. As it is, it is still very good.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

October 14, 2010
With the death of Robin Williams, in review this film may be one of his performances that leave you heartbroken. Williams plays Parry, a homeless vagrant who is still reeling from the murder of his wife three years prior, via an insane mass shooter. Bridges is a shock jock whose thoughtless antics leads said mass shooter to do the deed. Playing on this achingly pathetic set-up, director Gilliam leads us by the hand through his mystical world, created by the bitterness of grief, the terror of self-actualization, and the wonder of change. Bridges and Williams both engender the sympathy of the audience with their human performances, symbiotic and yet complete opposites. The symbolism of the Red Knight is mythological but also telling of the psychological trauma induced by his wife's death. It is both the driving fear of the unknown and also the self-hatred that lends itself to Parry's psychosis. This symbol can be regarded as everyone's true fear, anyone's anxiety inducing parallel, and that not only is very touching when regarded as a metaphor for mental illness, but for those running from something in general. Very beautiful in execution, and always heartbreaking, no matter the context, Gilliam created a vivid world, and an even wilder set of characters for us to fall in love with.
August 25, 2014
A really sweet and offbeat story of tragedy, recovery, friendship, and love. It blends multiple genres together very oddly but they all seem to work. It's a bit too long, but the performances from Bridges and Williams are larger than life. It's a really, really good movie and one that shouldn't be missed.
August 25, 2014
I really did not like this movie. It is a horrible night mare of a movie.
Jacob M.
August 23, 2014
Robin Williams gives a performance for the ages, establishing depth and emotion out of thin air.
August 23, 2014
Williams serves Bridges the role of his career.
August 23, 2014
Such a fantastic balancing of comedy, drama and fantasy! You can tell it's a Terry Gilliam film, because there is nothing else quite like it (this is by far my favorite of his work...besides his Monty Python days). Both the leads give fantastic performances, especially Williams who steals the film with his humor and soul that he shows throughout.
August 20, 2014
At times tonally jarring and hard to grab onto. But the acting is all fantastic, not only Bridges and Williams, but Mercedes Ruehl as well (where have ye gone, Mercedes Ruehl?) and there are several standout scenes that can only be unironically described as "magical". I wish I had seen this in the theatre, it would no doubt have been even more powerful.
August 20, 2014
It's Terry Gilliam, you go in knowing what you're going to get, and Fisher King pretty much delivers in that sense. Actually it was a lot more upbeat than I expected. I found myself really enjoying the dynamic between Jack and his girlfriend actually, it felt very real and helped balance out the over-the-top-mental-illness-is-fun Robin Williams side of things.
August 19, 2014
I liked this film. I wish they made it all sorta connect bit better, but otherwise it was good.
August 19, 2014
Strange and affecting, "The Fisher King" features two outstanding performances from Williams and Bridges and some of Gilliam's most subdued direction.
August 18, 2014
Totally bizarre, yet you find yourself lost in the lunacy. Bridges is fantastic and Williams has never been better. The movie has a heck of a lull in the middle parts but manages to find its way again. It's charming and funny despite OR because of the strangeness of the world.
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