Director Terry Gilliam delves back into fantasy and the role of stories with this 2005 film starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. The film takes the position that the brothers Grimm weren’t just chroniclers of stories, but actively participated in the creation and embellishment of those stories… as a pair of traveling con men. With some assistants (Richard Ridings and Mackenzie Crook, the latter of whom was part of another bungling duo in Pirates of the Caribbean), they stage elaborate set-ups to trick gullible villagers into paying them to “exorcise” the witches, ghosts, and demons that purportedly plague Germany in the early 1800s.
They end up getting arrested, however, by the French occupation, under General Delatombe (Jonathan Pryce) and his semi-psychotic Italian lieutenant Cavaldi (Peter Stormare). Their sentences will be commuted if they agree to help Delatombe out with another village that seems to be plagued by the same sort of fake supernatural shenanigans the Grimms get up to, but with a more sinister motive: 10 girls have disappeared from the village, which is near a “haunted” forest that the villagers are afraid to enter. The Grimms’ new mission? Enter the forest, rescue the girls if they’re still alive, and debunk the hoax.
Problem is, when they get there, it doesn’t appear to be a hoax… Continue reading