The Fisher King (1991)
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer
Film – 5/5: Popular shock DJ Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) has everything a beautiful young girlfriends a Madison Ave. apartment and an offer to star in the pilot of a burgeoning new sitcom. This all falls apart when a listener takes rant of his about yuppies too seriously and massacres a group of people in a restaurant and then turns the gun on himself, horrified by what he has done Jack is never the same. Three years later Jack is living with a new girlfriend named Annie (Mercedes Ruehl) and works in her video rental store when he isn’t drinking away is sorrows. One night he decides he gets so drunk that he decides to jump into the river when he is attacked by two young men who try to light him on fire when he is saved by a group of deranged homeless men. The leader of these men is an especially crazy man named Parry (Robin Williams), who believes Jack is a Knight that has been sent by God to help him on his quest for the Holy Grail. Jack does not warm to Parry until he realizes that the reason he has gone insane is because his wife was killed during the same restaurant massacre. Jack makes it his mission to help Parry by any means necessary so when he finds out Parry is in love with an odd woman named Lydia (Amanda Plummer), he tries to set them up in an effort to make himself feel better. When this quick fix solution isn’t enough it becomes clear that there is only one thing Parry wants from him… The Holy Grail.
Video – 4/5: Could The Fisher King have looked better on Blu-Ray? Sure, but this is more than suitable transfer for the film and by far the best it has ever looked. The thing about Terry Gilliam films is that they have a certain look and feel to them. Anyone who has seen any of his films on VHS or DVD and enjoyed how they looked you have to check them out on Blu-Ray because this is how they were meant to be seen. This also goes for Fear and Loathing and Twelve Monkey which also look pretty awesome on Blu-Ray.
Audio – 4/5: The same could be said for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track while it could have sounded better it is definitely a good transfer. The scenes involving the Red Knight are explosive in sound but it is really the only loud part of the film. They did a great job with the audio on this one.
Overall Score and Recommendation – 4.5/5: I just revisited this film after not seeing it for a few years and I have to say I still love it but have grown a special appreciation for this little gem. This is another example of why Terry Gilliam is the mad genius of film making some of the weirdest but also most beautiful films of the last 30 years. Robin Williams is just sublime as Parry an early look at just how great an actor Williams can be and if it were not for Anthony Hopkins turn in Silence of the Lambs then I would imagine Williams would have won best actor for this. That being said Jeff Bridges is very good at what is basically the anti-dude a self loathing drunk but he pulls it off just as well as he does the Dude. Mercedes Ruehl is spectacular in her career role and Oscar winning turn and Amanda Plummer is very cute in her breakout role. The video and audio presentation are very solid for a film over 20 years old and it has that distinct Gilliam look that I have come to love. This films comes highly recommended.