Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro
Release date: 10 April 2019 (US)
Running time: 132 minutes
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I had no idea that back in May of 1998, when I first snuck in to see a film in theaters called “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, that he would end up becoming one of my favorite directors and influencing my interest in film so much. Terry Gilliam has always had a lot of luck with getting his film well receptive. They are always unique and never follow the Hollywood typical bubble that every other film does. Well “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is no different for Gilliam. This was a film that he was trying to get made for nearly three decades. If that shows nothing else it is that the guy was determined to bring this project to life no matter what. Well after it’s long journey to the world, it is definitely worth the wait.
Back in 2000, Jean Rochefort was originally cast to play Don Quixote and Toby was to be played by Johnny Depp (imagine that?!). They even made a documentary about this failed attempt called “Lost in La Mancha”, worth checking out. I have to admit thought, I am HUGE fan of Jonathan Pryce, who also collaborated with Gilliam in his film “Brazil”, another one of my favorites). Pryce nails it for me as Don Quixote. Other than Depp, the role of Sancho Panza has previously had even Robin Williams and Ewan McGregor attached before Adam Driver aka Kylo Ren in the “Star Wars” Universe. I have to admit, if I had a dream cast and out of all the people that could have played Panza Driver probably wouldn’t have been my first choice. Don’t get me wrong, he was good in the film and did the role justice but I wanted a little more from him here.
Here is the film’s official Premise: “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is the story of Toby (Driver), a cynical advertising director, who finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoe-maker (Pryce) who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth – a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?
When I watch a Terry Gilliam directed film, you know you are going to get amazing locations, really unique set designs, wonderful costumes and simply the best cinematography. “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” delivers in all of these departments, no question. The film runs a little long for me personally and when watching it with my wife, I noticed she checked out not shortly after it started. I think I appreciated it cause you can see where all the blood, sweat and tears went into this film. You can tell that this was the hail Mary pass at the end of the quarter for Gilliam and I definitely think it was a score!
Speaking earlier of “Lost in La Mancha”, the writers and directors of the film are currently working on a follow-up film, titled “He Dreamed of Giants”, which dives into the history of the film’s making this time around and what has happened since the events documented in “Lost in La Mancha”. Count me in!