“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”

(film review)

“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” (Spain, Great Britain, France, Portugal).
Genre — tragicomic fantasy.
Director — Terry Gilliam.
The premiere took place in 2018.
Starring: Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Joanna Ribeiro, Olga Kurylenko.
The film is freely based on Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote.
The movie won the Magritte Award for Best Co-produced Film.

The film tells the story of the adventures of promising advertising director Toby Grissoni in space and time. In the process of shooting a commercial about Don Quixote, Toby finds himself in the same Spanish area where he shot his thesis many years ago. The man meets old acquaintances, immersed in memories. One of his old friends, the cobbler Javier, has gone mad and considers himself Don Quixote of La Mancha. However, when he met Toby, the old man did not recognize the young director in him, but confidently decided that he was a faithful friend of Quixote, Sancho Panza. So Grissoni finds himself in a whirlpool of adventure and gradually gets lost in reality and fiction, present and past, the XXI and XVII centuries.

At the beginning of the movie, all scenes and events are transparent to the viewer, so it may seem that the plot is predictable. However, gradually and confidently events develop and become so confusing that the viewer may well get lost. Just like the main character. At some point, it is not clear what is happening. However, the tragic and unexpected ending clears up this confusion and makes a strong impression, whether positive or negative.

It is worth noting that the creators of the film managed to build the atmosphere of Spain in the days of Don Quixote thanks to quality costumes, decorations, makeup, editing, soundtrack and more. The important factor is the excellent acting, which subtly borders on “overplay”, although this is exactly what was needed for such a crazy plot.

In general, the film received an average rating from both critics and audiences (for example, the result on the authoritative portal “Rotten Tomatoes” — 63% of positive reviews).

An interesting fact about the film: it went down in history forever as a notorious example of the so-called “production hell”. Director Terry Gilliam has been trying to create it for 29 years. This process was accompanied by numerous legal and financial problems. Moreover, in 2002 was made a documentary, “Lost in La Mancha” (directed by Keith Fulton, Luis Pepe) about attempts to create “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”

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