Once upon a time—1796, to be precise—there were two brothers named Grimm. Jacob Grimm (Heath Ledger) believed in magic, but Wilhelm Grimm (Matt Damon) remained a staunch rationalist. In spite of their quarrels, they became partners in crime. Traversing French-occupied German territories, they pretended to save villages from demons, curses, and other disturbances with some sleight-of-hand and hocus-pocus.
But when Delatombe (Jonathan Pryce), a general in Napoleon's conquering army, exposed these tricksters and strung them up to be tortured, it looked like Jacob and Will would meet a fate as unfortunate as their name. But Delatombe had other plans . . . much to their relief. Troubled by news from the town of Marbaden that children were being kidnapped by a wicked witch, Delatombe—a rationalist himself—decided that this too was the work of deceitful crooks. He decided to send small-time frauds to expose big-time frauds.
And so the brothers, monitored by an egomaniacal torturer named Caravaldi (Peter Stormare), set out to escape a "minimum sentence" of death by uncovering their competitors' charade. As they argued over the nature of the forest's sinister secrets, they gained a reluctant guide, a beautiful villager named Angelika (Lena Headey), and became rivals for her affections.
Turn the page. There's another fairy tale here that deserves our attention.
Once upon our time, there was a filmmaking genius—Terry Gilliam—who suffered for years under a terrible curse. (Okay, not really—but let's have some fun with this.) Blessed with a spectacular imagination, Gilliam, Monty Python's only American member, triumphantly delivered two successful studio features: The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys. ...1