In present time, the doctor is trying to sell his show, his magic power, to a mostly uninterested crowd in London, with the help of Percy (Verne Troyer), his also immortal friend and Anton (Andrew Garfield), a young man who is in love with the third and most important person to the doctor, Valentina. Two days before collecting hour, a strange, mysterious man comes into their lives and changes everything, as he brings fortune, but also problems. I find it a little hard to properly explain the plot without giving too much away, so I'll just say it features a lot of weird twist and turns and characters, but with a rather expected and sweet ending.
One thing that I liked and appreciated about The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is the creativity, imagination or whatever you want to call the thing that made Terry and Charles to write such a story, with a particular world, that resembles Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the chocolate factory, in some ways. I loved the way it was brought to life on screen, because visually, it was beautiful. The cinematography and art direction were very good and highlighted the sets and costumes even more. Terry Gillam certainly has a curious mind and I am looking forward to seeing what he will do next.
I'm not saying that everything is perfect- as much as I like the fact that he dares to do and show more than most, I think sometimes it was too much, especially story-wise. The level of craziness and the complexity of the script when it comes to Tony's intentions or the deal between Parnassus and the devil, are both taken over the top and so messy that they don't even make you want to understand. I do think some parts were overacted, although maybe that was the intention (Fear&Loathing in Las Vegas had the same slight problems, so I guess it's just a Gilliam trait).
Speaking of acting, the cast was good and I love the selection of actors, even Lily Cole, who I thought did a decent job, considering her previous experience. The veterans, Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits, were exceptional, and I have to give credit to Andrew Garfield, who certainly has charm and some comedic chops, although he wasn't perfect all the time. The three stars, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, who were added after Heath's tragic death, fitted well into the story and I liked the fact that each one tried to portray the part the way Heath would have- they all had or used some of the actor's regular gestures, mimic or posture. As for mister Ledger himself, what can I say? He was a fantastic actor who will be missed- his charisma and talent lighted the screen every time he was on it and he made the story come to life in a much more interesting, lively way.
Just like F&L in LV, I still don't know what to think about it- I don't hate it, I don't love it, but I do find it intriguing and the world they created and they way it was visually portrayed is appealing. If you liked the film mentioned before, then yeah, you can give this one a try, too.
Did you see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus? What did you think of it?