I saw “Don Quixote” in the title and that was enough. That was a very funny novel from Miguel De Cervantes and i had never seen a film version. And so came the eagerness. It’s worth a look especially when directed by Terry Gilliam, who is no stranger to a topic of madness.
But just to be clear, “The Man Who killed Don Quixote” is quite different storywise from the book. Instead of following the novel, it tells about the making of a television commercial featuring its two main characters, the chivalrous Alonso and his sidekick Sancho Panza. Adam Driver stars as the director in crisis. He is midway in the shoot when he loses inspiration to be creative. He is at the same spanish locale ten years ago where he directed a film version of Don Qixote during his zealous years. But something doesn’t feel right. So he wanders off-set on a motorbike through the countryside and falls into random events, some of which are comedic adventures while others are dreams. No spoilers.
For those who don’t remember, Terry Gilliam is the director of Brazil and 12 Monkeys. So familiar qualities are retained such as dreamy surroundings, oblique angles, and extravagant production sets. Occasionally these qualities overshadow the meandering narrative. But what’s interesting is how amidst the riotous visuals and situations, there still maintains an undercurrent of emotion evoked by its comedic characters. A longing for a lost passion.
So i guess one question is this : should the book be read to appreciate the movie? I don’t think so. The movie communicates the novel’s humor quite well; Although offcourse everyone has there own degree of humor and imagination. But this movie is entertaining and should satisfy film fans and lovers of the book.