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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (DVD)
Member Name: Kat1987
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (DVD)
Advantages: Stunning Visuals.
Disadvantages: Boring.No plot. Did I mention boring?
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus [12A]
Released: 2009, Run Time: 123 minutes, Genre: Fantasy, Adventure.
Film Only Review.
Welcome to the world of the immortal Dr Parnassus step through the mirror and enter your own imagination.....
Dr Parnassus is the star act of an incredibly unsuccessful travelling theatre show. He, alongside Percy (Verne Troyer), Anton (Andrew Garfield) , and his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) travel the streets of modern day London trying to earn a living by enticing people to enter their own imaginations. Unbeknown to his comrades the immortal Dr Parnassus has made several deals with the devil Mr Nick (Tom Waits) which involves taking people's souls whilst they are in the imaginarium, Dr Parnassus purifies souls and the devil takes them to hell.
The prize for the latest contest is the beautiful Valentina, someone who the Doctor does not want to lose but as business dwindles so does the Doctor's chances of keeping his beloved Valentina. Enter Tony.
Tony (Heath Ledger) is found hanging from a bridge and is saved from the clutches of death by Valentina, Percy and an unenthusiastic Anton. Tony is a charmer and a good salesmen and may be the answer to the troupe's prayers. He is a master at bringing in business but is he all he really seems? How much can you really trust an amnesiac hanging from a bridge?
The film opens with drunk people being kicked out of a bar named the Medusa- I liked this mythological reference, it demonstrated to me that the director had thought this through. I buckled my seat belt and got prepared for the fantasy ride of my life. I was expecting a well though out, rich, fantastical whirlwind of a film. Unfortunately this small detail of the entire two hour long film was the highlight of the whole thing and I am not exaggerating.
This film is terrible, my boyfriend and I spent the whole film huffing and puffing our way through it, all two hours of it. This film is a prime example of how all the graphics, money and cinematography in the world cannot make a good film. A good film is all about a well written plot and this film had no plot.
The film is known as Heath Ledger's last film as he died during filming. This led to Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell stepping in to film the parts when Tony is in the imaginarium. I knew this prior to watching the film and so I expected this to be disappointing and for it to ruin the continuity of the film but it didn't as the film has no continuity. It seemed to be random bits of opulent visuals mixed in with people shopping at Homebase. It was a bizarre juxtaposition of the abnormal and everyday which essentially should work well but not without a plot. There was no reasoning behind anything what happened in this film and this made it hard to follow and even harder to enjoy.
Heath Ledger's performance was standard. I felt Johnny Depp did the best portrayal of Tony, better than Heath Ledger's in fact. Jude Law and Colin Farrell were average, neither particularly outstanding. The stand out performances for me were Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield. I enjoyed the chemistry between them and I particularly liked Lily's costumes. Her elfin good looks helped her portray the ethereal Valentina. Tom Waits portrayal of the devil was interesting, he had one of the smaller parts but I enjoyed watching him the most.
The films strengths lie in it's visual imagery. The scenes within the imaginarium are stunning but even these become boring as the film goes on. The film is a self indulgent visual extravaganza from the director (Terry Gilliam) and it totally ignores the audience. I like fantasy films and the idea behind this film isn't too bad but the fact that the director didn't use the two hours to explain anything further than the superficial annoyed me.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this film even from the perspective of it being Heath Ledger's last film. Let his legacy lie with the Dark Knight, don't do what I did and let your last memory of him be this film, let him live on as the fantastic, wonderful, talented man that played the most disturbing Joker we've ever seen not as Tony from that rubbish film that dragged on.
Summary: Don't waste two hours waiting for it to get better....it doesn't