Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Grade: A

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is tells the story of a man, Dr. Parnassus, and his amazing "Imaginarium", a traveling road show where audience members get the irresistible chance of a lifetime to see their imaginations come to life and they are faced with a choice between light and joy and darkness and gloom. Centuries ago, Dr. Parnassus made a deal with the devil, Mr. Nick, to gain immortality. Centuries later Parnassus met his one true love and made another deal with Mr. Nick in order to gain youth on condition that his first born child becomes the property of Mr. Nick upon that child's sixteenth birthday. As that milestone approaches for his daughter, Mr. Nick decides to make a new wager in order to give Parnassus hope of keeping his daughter and Parnassus comes across a mysterious young man who they enlist to help them win the wager.

This movie comes from the wild and bizarre mind of writer/director Terry Gilliam (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and is a lot of fun to watch. The visuals of the movie are absolutely beautiful, especially the sequences inside the Imaginarium which are so rich and vibrant. The story is actually quite fascinating and very intriguing. All the characters are great and very fun to watch. This movie is the late great Heath Ledger's true final performance. He was actually in the middle of filming it when he passed and the movie was almost shut down but Terry Gilliam came up with a great idea. Gilliam felt that there are different aspects and sides to Ledger's character, Tony, and I feel he was right. So Gilliam had three great actors, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, finish the role in a way that was great, funny and very tasteful.

Christopher Plummer (Syriana, Twelve Monkeys) plays the main role of Dr. Parnassus, the man with the ability to make people's imaginations come to life. Plummer did a great job with this role and showing the inner torment that Parnassus feels towards everything he has done. Verne Troyer (Austin Powers, The Love Guru) plays the role of Percy, Parnassus' closest friend. Troyer actually gave a great performance in this movie and was really enjoyable. Tom Waits (Domino, Coffee and Cigarettes) plays the devious Mr. Nick. Tom Waits, who is normally a singer, did was fantastic with this role as the devil, he really made the role. Relative new comer Lily Cole plays the role of Dr. Parnassus' daughter, Valentine. Cole shows great promise after her performance in this movie. As I said before, Heath Ledger (Dark Knight, A Knight's Tale) plays the role of the mysterious Tony in the movie in his final performance. Ledger was great as always and it made me sad once more because he had so much potential and the world is a sadder place without him. Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Public Ememies) plays "Imaginarium Tony #1" and did a wonderful Job. Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, The Holiday) plays "Imaginarium Tony #2" and was fun to watch. Colin Farrell (In Bruges, Phone Booth) plays "Imaginarium Tony #3" and did a great job playing the part of the movie where we find out the truth about Tony.

This movie was fantastic and if you love Terry Gilliam's movies, as I do, then you should definitely check it out. It is a fun, mysterious and wonderfully beautiful movie that really makes your imagination go wild. It is a bit crazy and weird at times but it works so well for the story and only makes it better.

Great quote: "In love? Who gave her permission?"

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