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?
Wow, I just saw this over a week ago for the first time. I've been meaning to see it forever since it's Heath's last film. I think it's a bizarre movie, which is expected given it's Gilliam's, but overall I thought it was fun. It has a cautionary tale in there somewhere but kinda lost amidst all the surreal and colorful visuals. I thought Heath was great, he's such a charismatic actor, but I also love Garfield here, I don't think he's ever disappointed me in anything [so far I've seen 5 of his films].ReplyDelete
Plummer was good too, though his performance isn't any better than his usual stuff, but it's nice to see him doing something THIS bizarre. I also enjoy the other 3 actors replacing Heath, Depp especially, I mean Heath kind of resembled him in parts so the transition felt smooth to me.
This might be my favorite Gilliam's movie out of all I've seen, I didn't like The Brothers Grimm much.
Garfield was really good, I was a bit surprised, considering it was more of a comedic role, and he usually does dramas! You're right about Depp, the transition was very good and I liked him best, too! Thanks!Delete
Sometimes it was a little to colourful for my taste (inside the imaginarium), but outside of it everything was perfect. A little confusing and bizarre, but good. Though the first time I watched it I was a bit disappointed. And now I need to watch it again because of Garfield - at the time I really didn't notice him.ReplyDelete
Anyway, the fact that Depp, Law and Farrell stepped forward to play Heath's character... it's beautiful. It's sounds lame, but I really thought it was a beautiful gesture and a great way to honor him.
Yeah, it was really nice of them to do it, and like I said, they really tried to copy or act in Ledger's style, which was a cool thing for me!Delete
Great review! I enjoyed the movie, mostly for the visuals and the clever device of 4 actors playing the same character - I loved Ledger and Farrell the most. It wasn't as memorable as my fav by Gilliam - fear and loathing in LV - but I did enjoy the experience.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed it, too! My favorite performance of the three would be Depp, but I liked Farrell, too!Delete
I agree with almost everything you wrote. The visuals and the cast made this movie for me. Though, I loved every scene the devil was in, even if his interactions with Parnassus were odd. Waits gave my favorite performance in the film, but he's a god in my book, so I'm biased to say the least. Also, I think F&L in LV is still Gilliam's best film, but I haven't seen Brazil yet.ReplyDelete
Thanks Josh for dropping by and commenting! I agree, Waits was a standout, as well, I don't know why I didn't mention him more!Delete
I quite enjoyed it, particularly Garfield, but I don't remember it well enough right now. I should watch it again :) Great review!ReplyDelete
That happens to me, too- I watch a movie, but forget almost everything about it after a couple of months (so many examples for that from my part)Delete
I didn’t really enjoy this movie, but I appreciated the hell out of Heath’s work, and the fact that Law, Farrell and Depp wrapped it up with dignity. I think you and I liked it equally.ReplyDelete
Good to hear! It's not an amazing movie, but I was intrigued!Delete