I have to say right off the bat that I loved the movie I saw last night.
Have you seen The Fisher King?
If you haven’t you need to see this movie!!
If you have, I am totally pist off at you for not telling me about this movie. How could I have ever missed this movie?!!
It came out in 1991… what the hell was I doing in 1991?? Oh, that’s right. I was seven years old. I was a stupid annoying child probably in the midst of getting a spanking while this movie came out.
Anyways…. back to this glorious movie.
Actor and member of the Monty Python group Terry Gilliam directed this film. Gilliam is a true story-teller and in this movie he delights the eye as well as the soul.
Jeff Bridges plays New York’s #1 shock radio DJ Jack Lucas, whose low opinion of humanity lends itself well to his radio talk show, where the enmity rubs off on his listeners. Jack is extremely self-centered, prideful, conceited and has no filter when it comes to the drivel he promotes on his radio show. However, one of his listeners takes to heart Jack’s rants and goes on a killing spree at a restaurant, murdering innocent people.
Jack is so distraught at what his on-air suggestion brought that he sinks into a three-year depression, drinking himself to sleep and mooching off of his girlfriend Anne.
Yes, I know. She is very easy on the eyes.
So Jack reaches the end of his intake and tries to commit suicide. To his rescue comes a crazed but witty homeless man named Parry played by Robin Williams.
He tells Jack he’s destined for great things — all his has to do is find the Holy Grail (conveniently located in mid-town Manhattan) and save Parry’s soul. He also wants Jack to help him out with the woman of his dreams, Lydia Sinclair, a shy type who works at a publishing company. Parry was once a university professor who became unglued by a tragic event in his past. You find out that Parry was at that restaurant with his then wife when the listener of Jack’s radio show came him and fired killing his wife. Parry completely lost of trace of reality, and seems to be fighting public demons.
As the movie continues, you begin to wonder if we all have lost trace of some sort of reality. Parry’s fears are real and honest. The tragedy that happened to him is as real to him as Jack standing there. When Jack discovers who Parry really is, he determined to set it right.
He spends the days with him and gets to know him, his friends, and their friendship starts to bloom.
There is a story that Parry tells Jack that sums up the movie in general and describes the relationship with he and Jack.
The Fisher King
It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he’s visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the holy grail, symbol of God’s divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, “You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men.” But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached into the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded. Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn’t love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die. One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a fool, he was simple-minded, he didn’t see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, “What ails you friend?” The king replied, “I’m thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat”. So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the holy grail, that which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, “How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?” And the fool replied, “I don’t know. I only knew that you were thirsty.”
When Parry is telling the story, you see that the story hits home for Jack.
So Jack helps to set up the new girl Parry is in love with him.
I love the scene where Parry and Lydia go on their first date. It’s so romantic but not a cheesy romantic. It’s like a heartfelt sincere moment that they share. During the whole dinner, they hit it off completely. As Parry walks her home, Lydia starts to criticize their blossoming relationship.
But as Lydia is already dooming their relationship, Parry swoops her up and saves her.
The movie also focuses on Jack and his relationship with Anne. Anne is clearly in love with Jack. She takes care of him, she puts up with his bull shit, but he so self-absorbed that he doesn’t see that. He takes her for granted.
Jack realizes that in order to save his new friend, he must save himself first. He has it through his mind that he is scum, that he is responsibility for Parry’s loss, and that he is unworthy of love so he pushes away anyone that seems to care.
This movie is funny, creative, sweet and even has a bit of fantasy in it. The 137 minutes sail by effortlessly.
The Fisher King emphasizes the purpose of fairy tales in our lives, and the way a fantasy can help us see reality more clearly.