Films on a Friday #55 – The Fisher King

Hello everyone. One of my classes was offering the chance to earn extra credit if you attended a film screening  and shared your thoughts afterwards. It seemed like a no-brainer to me (I can’t say that phrase anymore without thinking of Kevin Bacon…) so I went along.

6. The Fisher King
A 1991 film, I’d never heard of The Fisher King before the event was emailed to us. It’s a film starring Jeff Bridges and the late and great Robin Williams. This is the first of his films I’ve seen since he passed away and it made me appreciate his performance even more in a bittersweet kind of way. The Fisher King is set in NYC and focuses on ex-radio DJ Jack Lucas, played by Kevin Bridges, who’s career was ruined after giving thoughtless advice to a caller on the show. The advice was misinterpreted and led to a really tragic turn of events. Overcome by guilt, and awful publicity, he falls out of the spotlight and into the crutches of drink. Robin Williams plays a homeless man, Parry, who becomes friends with Jack and they both help each other to overcome their personal battles.

I really enjoyed The Fisher King and the discussion afterwards raised a few interesting points. The first being how would you categorise this film into a genre. It is definitely, but not exclusively, a comedy. But it is also very tragic in places so it could be a drama as well. Overall, we decided on a romantic with elements of drama.

Another interesting point is that multiple scenes contained an element of red – be that a necklace, a piece of set decoration or in the very bland set of a hospital there was a paitent with a bleeding head wound. I think that was representative of the red horseman that haunted Parry, the evil that haunts him since the incident.

Someone also comment that all of the plot was believable but the rescue-mission-style scene at the end was a bit ridiculous and was a silly addition to the film. I have to agree with this but I don’t think it ruined the film.

Overall I really enjoyed the film. There was a recurring theme of helping other people for selfish reasons (such as to relieve your own guilt) but, regardless of the reason, the end result is the same. So does it matter why people do charitable things? I also felt like The Fisher King created two parallel worlds where Jack could either care about his relationships with people or care about his career. I don’t think this is representative of the world as a whole, but rather Jack’s inability to balance the two worlds. Or at least I hope so..


I hope you’re having a good week. If anyone has any film suggestions please comment below or tweet me at @sophieredgell.

Sophie x


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