THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Imaginative, But Incredibly Grim
Release Date: August 26, 2005
Starring: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger,
Peter Stormare, Lena Headey,
Jonathyn Pryce, and Monica
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 118 minutes
Distributor: Dimension Films
Director: Terry Gilliam
Executive Producer: John D. Schofield, Chris
McGurk, Bob Weeinstein, Harvey
Weinstein, Jonathan Gordon,
and Andrew Rona
Producer: Charles Roven and Daniel
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Address Comments To:Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
99 Hudson Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 219-4100
Fax: (212) 941-3836
Jacob and Will Grimm are two young boys in French-occupied Germany in the 1790s. Their family is starving, and their sister is on the verge of death. Jacob is sent to the market to sell a cow for just enough money to buy the food to save his sister, but Jacob gets taken by a con man and sells the cow for magic beans. Will is furious with his brother, and it is implied that the sister dies.
Years later, Jacob and Will travel from town to town conning people to hire them to perform exorcisms. One town is being bothered by a witch in the old mill. They demand an exorbitant price to get rid of the witch. They fight off this horrible demon with arrows tipped with baby tears, flaming crosses, catapults, and all sorts of Rube Goldberg devices. When the mill owner leaves to tell the townspeople that they got rid of the witch, it is revealed to the audience that the witch is one of the brothers Grimm’s cohorts and another cohort was operating extensive theatrical equipment to create their show.
With their ill-gotten earnings, Jacob and Will go to a tavern. While Jacob is writing his stories and waxing eloquent, Will retires upstairs with two barmaids. An evil Italian commander in Napoleon's occupation army, Cavaldi, comes into the tavern and arrests the two brothers. Cavaldi literally drags the brothers before a Napoleonic general, Delatombe. Delatombe demonstrates what evil tortures they are going to face unless they go to the German town of Marbaden and rid it of a curse that seems to be taking all of the town's young girls.
Jacob and Will are hauled to the town in iron cages. When they get there, they team up with a trapper named Angelika. With her help, they find out that, in the forest around the town, they are not facing smoke and mirrors, but real demons. The demons are the henchmen of a 500-year-old queen who lives in a tower in the middle of the forest and who needs 12 virgins to restore herself to her youthful beauty. In the process of fighting this queen in the forest outside of Marbaden, all of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales make their appearance. One little girl ventures into the woods in a red riding cape and of course is taken by a wolf who is actually a man. The story of Sleeping Beauty and the other classic Grimm tales supposedly have their roots in this conflict. In facing real evil, the Grimm brothers turn from being con men to being heroes.
THE BROTHERS GRIMM is a very dark movie. Cavaldi loves to torture people. He shows decapitated heads. He dunks people in boiling water. He has a giant screw lowered down on a beautiful woman. Even mentioning some of the tortures would be excessive. When he kicks a little kitten, the blood splatters and his commander, Delatombe, takes delight in licking the blood. This is about as low as a moviemaker can go.
In the process of solving the plot problem, people are burned, people are attacked by ugly bugs and ugly tortures reign. Furthermore, the church is mocked, it is stated that Christians brought the evil to the forest and ruined the pagan village, the current minister is weak, the present day Christians are fearful, and faith has no part in solving the plot problem.
However, nominalism does, and seldom has a movie been so clearly occult in the name it and claim it manner of THE BROTHERS GRIMM. At a key plot point, Will tells his brother, Jacob, "This is your story; you're imagining it. So change the ending." Thus, life is but a dream. Some people are the dreamers and some people are caught in the dreams of others. However, as more than one character says, these fairy tales are real, so reality is the fabric of the evil that Jacob Grimm imagines.
Since this writer has known people who believe in such a worldview, it is nice to know that the truth is quite different. We live in a real world created by a real God who loves us and offers us salvation. We are not caught in a nightmare. And, best of all, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
That said, the movie is beautifully filmed. Although some of the acting is over the top, especially by Jonathan Pryce, and although the plot falls apart, the visual elements of this movie are incredible. The images, mostly bad, should imprint themselves on the viewer's mind for years to come. Even so, if you want a great visual experience, with a positive moral worldview, you would be better off going to CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.
The Grimm brothers are, of course, the famous chroniclers of ancient European fairy tales. This movie, however, is grim indeed. Although THE BROTHERS GRIIMM is beautifully filmed, the story contains extreme constant violence, including scenes of torture, children losing their faces and eyeballs being extracted. The movie also has a very strong occult worldview that supports nominalism and mocks Christianity. All of these horrible images and themes will surely imprint themselves on the viewer's mind.