|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||The Man Who Killed Don Quixote|
|Genre:||Drama, Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure|
|Production country:||Spanien/Frankreich/Belgien/Portugal 2018|
|Running time:||Approx. 133 min|
Once Toby (Adam Driver) was an ambitious filmmaker full of passion. Now his work is ruled only by money and commerce. During the disastrous shoot of a commercial in Spain, Toby receives a copy of his student film from a mysterious man. When confronted with the images, he is gripped by a desire to revisit the small village where he shot his first film all those years ago. There he also meets the old shoemaker (Jonathan Pryce) again, who had played Don Quixote for him. Toby quickly discovers that his film has completely derailed life in the village, leading the old man to actually believe he is Don Quixote. And before he knows it, Toby is in the middle of a crazy adventure alongside his Don Quixote that will take his life in an unexpected direction.
In 2002, Lost in La Mancha was released, one of the best documentaries ever made about a film shoot where everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong. The film follows Terry Gilliam as he attempts to direct The Man Who Killed Don Quixote - an attempt that comes to an abrupt end a few days into filming. But even after this cinematic failure, Gilliam never gave up on eventually bringing his vision of the classic to the screen. Again and again he made new attempts to find financiers and suitable actors, and again and again these attempts were doomed to failure for a variety of reasons. The project became Gilliam's very personal fight against windmills.
But now it is finally done. After the last attempt was confronted with considerable problems even after the completion of the film and it even looked for a short time that Gilliam would never be allowed to bring the finished film into the cinemas due to a legal dispute, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote finally sees the light of the film world after all. Difficult birth is not an expression at all. But unfortunately, the finished film is nowhere near as exciting or interesting as its turbulent origin story.
While there are moments when Gilliam's genius shines through. But then, much of it comes across as a bitter man's reckoning with the movie business and a desperate attempt to squeeze together all the ideas that have accumulated over the years - whether that makes sense or not. Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce play really well, but that admittedly doesn't help much when the script puts some really muddled dialogue in their mouths. And the imagery, usually one of Gilliam's really great strengths, doesn't really offer anything impressive either, though that may also be due to the not particularly high budget.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote always makes you feel the vision Gilliam fought so hard to achieve. That's why it's really hard to say that the film is more of a disappointment overall. The story is muddled together, the visuals are only truly enchanting in a few moments, and the direction feels too jaundiced in places. And for that, in the end, there can't be more than a "worth seeing" rating. Then better watch Lost in La Mancha again
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp