The Fisher King (1991)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Fisher King</strong> (1991)

(On VHS, June 2001) Hey, it’s Terry Gilliam, so it’s got to be good on a visual level, right? Maybe, if you squint real hard and get a mild brain seizure from the added pressure. The story of a fallen shock DJ and a wacko homeless person, The Fisher King might work on some quasi-mythic level, but most of the film is painful in that inimitable “here are miserable people and we’re going to rub your noses in their pathetic lives” fashion. There is an excruciatingly painful date sequence that will make you grit your teeth. There are two appearances by gratuitously violent men who serve no other purpose than to artlessly advance the plot through violent beatings. A whopper of a coincidence drives the story. Well, maybe I’m being too harsh; Mercedes Ruehl is wonderful, Jeff Bridges as cool as usual, there’s a good scene inside Grand Central Station and a happy ending. But it might not be worth it unless you really, really want to see the film.

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