Newest Reviews
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Souvenir Part II, The
Newest Articles
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
  True Don Quixote, The Are We Proud, Are We Brave, Or Just Crazy?
Year: 2019
Director: Chris Poche
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Jacob Batalon, Ann Mahoney, Morgan Roberts, Brandon Stacy, Lucy Faust, Ankur Bhatt, Roy Blount Jr, Natalie Boyd, Kristin Daniel, Dave Davis, Criss Green, Jason Kirkpatrick, Sam Malone, Anthony Marble, Darcel White Moreno
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dan Kehoe (Tim Blake Nelson) lives for books, he used to be a librarian in this quiet small town but now the place has been closed down, and despite his protest he will not be allowed to keep all the books before they are scrapped. Therefore he has spent the time since living in the family home with his niece Janelle (Ann Mahoney), who essentially looks after him, reading as much as he can, with the tales of old when knights were bold proving a particular attraction. His favourite among these is Don Quixote, who it seems to have escaped his attention was not a real knight, even in fictional form.

But the concept of heading out into the world as an exemplar of chivalry becomes irresistible as Dan spends all his time alone until - look out, world! The problem that if Kehoe was really that invested in the Cervantes book, then he would be well aware of all the rich ironies it employed and actively sent up Don Quixote rather than presenting him as the epitome of good sense, but we were supposed to take it as, er, read that our hero draws all the wrong lessons from the story. So what you had was one of them "ain't mental illness cute?" comedies, or comedy dramas anyway, which could strike a chord in many audiences - efforts like Harold and Maude, They Might Be Giants or The Fisher King enjoy strong followings to this day.

Though some of these were more credible than others, to its credit, Chris Poche as adapter and director was keen to deliver a twinkly fantasy of what would happen had Quixote been a genuine person. That credit came when it realised Dan is content in his madness, and asked whether he should be dragged kicking and screaming back to sanity, or the heavily medicated version of sanity, when he would be far happier living out his alter ego under the daze of his psychosis. The film acknowledged that he can do serious damage to himself in the process, not merely because he gets into physical peril on his newly acquired trusty steed (a motor scooter and sidecar) but can meet the wrong sort of person who will not be as benevolent towards his condition than certain other people would be, and come to harm that way.

Even his stand-in Sancho Panza sidekick (Jacob Batalon), who not quite convincingly goes along with the delusions, cannot bring Dan around to seeing things as they are, and the consensus reality rules for the audience too, as we get the whole picture. The ace in the pack was Nelson, just about convincing us that Kehoe would be behaving like a crazy person in this scenario, and for a character who was permanently off in his own little world, at least believable in his dedication to that world over the real one which will just break his heart. Or indeed his head. He was really the reason to watch, since the rest of it was a somewhat overbearing literary conceit that may be easier to follow than Terry Gilliam's famously folly-bound variation on Cervantes, which took far longer to complete and with far bigger budgets than this, with around the same impact.

But The True Don Quixote could have done with the madness of that celebrated and to be honest, more inspired director's vision to give it a little pep. As it was, with its banal small community setting it was a shade too close to an episode of My Name is Earl that became pretentious all of a sudden, the humour was in that vein aside from the occasional burst of violence to remind us what was at stake should Dan sustain his curious take on reality. You felt sorry for him more than you laughed at him, it had to be said, despite his immersive illusions making him relatively cheerful. As to whether this was accurately what would happen if the tale were true in the twenty-first century, as the title promised it would turn out to be, you kind of doubt the public's general reaction would be quite as welcoming in so many quarters; admittedly, not everyone is happy to see a madman approaching, sword drawn for battle. Music by Jay Weigel (with folksy songs by Poche).

[Signature Entertainment presents The True Don Quixote on Digital Platforms 2nd August 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 504 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed


Last Updated: