DailyView: Day 92, Movie 157
Today in the DailyView, I am diving into the world of director and member of the EYG Hall of Fame comedy troupe Monty Python, Terry Gilliam and his most recent film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Many of Gilliam’s films are filled with a surreal, dream-like state that creates a distinct visual and storytelling tone, and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote fits right into that category.
Toby (Adam Driver) was a disillusioned film director working on his latest film focused upon the legend of Don Quixote. Toby found himself stuck in the delusions of an old man (Jonathan Pryce) who believed that he truly was the legend and believed Toby was his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza. During this time, Toby is forced to face the problems he caused to a local village years before when he shot another film.
The performances of Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce carry this movie. As the plot became more convoluted, the strength of this feature is the two of them. Pryce’s character’s dogged belief that he was, in truth, Don Quixote and Driver’s continuation of that fantasy was a fascinating interaction. Both of these actors are at the top of their game in this film and they are the main reason why it is as entertaining as it is.
The film is too long and the plot is messy. I think this falls into the style of Terry Gilliam and the messiness is intentional considering the surreal feel the film seems to be going for. It does make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote somewhat difficult to follow. It is not your typical movie.
It feels as if it is a shot at the Hollywood community as well, considering everything that is brought up in the ending sequence, which is exciting, but insincere at the same time. The question of what was real is investigated and I am still not sure I know what was not a delusion.
Still, I did enjoy the relationship with Toby and Don and the rest played reasonably well off of it. The film could have benefited from a shorter run time, but The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was an emotional connection that had its moments.