Review of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

Moving picture, 126 minutes

Terry Gilliam (director).

A city at the mad height of the Enlightenment is besieged by the Turks. Inside its crumbling walls, a grand theatre is putting on a show. An old man storms the stage to interrupt the play, introducing himself as its basis. He begins to correct the narrative by claiming responsibility for the war outside. When the theatre itself starts to fall apart under the Sultan’s bombardment, the audience turns to flee. Baron Münchausen begs them to stay, for without spectacle he is just an old man, hunted by the Grim Reaper and long separated from his band of grotesquely talented sidekicks. To save the city, he would have to find those friends again.

Rabelais-esque adventure. Similar to Time Bandits (1981) and roughly as loose, but more mature. A problematic production and a box office failure.

References here: “Terry Gilliam” tag description, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), Zama (2017).

moving picture fiction