The Fisher King

The Fisher King


Directed by Terry Gilliam

Starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges

Production Budget:

24 million

Total Lifetime Grosses

Domestic:  $41,895,491

Release Date: September 20, 1991

A most enjoyable film. The story is built around the downfall of Jeff Bridges character. A sleazy, rich, talk show host with an enormous ego. When he discovers that a careless comment he makes influenced a listener to massacre the patrons of an upmarket yuppie nightclub, he has a mental breakdown. He meets up with one of the victim’s husbands (played by Robin Williams), who had lost his mind with the grief and memory of the incident.

Although the story itself is clever and interesting, I found the visual style of the movie was even more impressive. Especially the images of the giant red knight covered in tattered red ribbons that symbolizes the memory of his wife’s bloody demise. The acting in the movie was unarguably exceptional. Robin Williams screaming through the streets while being chased by a gigantic red knight, being one very memorable performance.

This use of symbolistic imagery in a movie fascinates me. I have attempted many times to successfully do the same in my own films, and it is a very hit and miss exercise. Images either work or fall short of expectations and alienate the audience. Terry Gilliam is a master, and it’s good to see a big budget production successfully playing with these techniques.

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