Monday, June 28, 2010

my thoughts on.... 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'

yes, this is Heath Ledgers final performance, but don't let that be the only reason you watch it.... this movie has so much more to offer.... and anytime Terry Gilliam is involved, i'm in. he created one of my all time favorite films 'The Fisher King' and this is right on par with that and has a very similar feel to that film.... what Gilliam has created is a world that is well known, but is still totally unique and foreign.... it's strange how he walks the fine line between reality and fantasy so deftly.... he is the master of this technique and i think a lot of that goes back to his days with Monty Python.... either way, he's created a masterpiece of filmaking and something that will stand the test of time as a film full of amazing visuals, an incredible story, superb performances from his actors and solid direction.... i can't say enough good things about it.... after watching it, i couldn't stop thinking about it.... and to me that's a good sign of a worthwhile film.... if it sticks with you or teaches you something about yourself or life.... and this film does that.... or i guess, did that.... with me anyway.... i walked away with a lot and most films are made to entertain, Terry Gilliam's films are made to be an experience.... but i digress....

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a travelling sideshow.... with Doctor Parnassus and his daughter Valentina.... his dwarf sidekick, Percy and Anton, the show's barker.... they travel around putting on performances to earn money and to change peoples lives, but over the years the public has lost interest.... as they want new and exciting things.... not traditional stage shows.... little do they know what Doctor Parnassus truly has to offer them, if they submitted themselves to him.... along the way, they come across a man hanging under a bridge by the neck.... (Heath Ledger).... he's suffered amnesia, but soon learns his name is Tony and he joins the travelling sideshow.... things just digress into wonderful madness from there....
heaping praise on a movie is always a wonderful feeling.... because if i can pass on the joy that i had while watching it.... or the wisdom it gave me.... it makes all of this worthwhile and tempers the horrible movies that i have to endure inbetween.... this is a rare example of a movie that has it all.... granted there are cracks in the armour.... it's not the perfect movie.... some of the CGI bothered me.... and some of the scenes inside the Imaginarium were difficult to watch.... however, overall it's pure genius..... and one of the best movies i've seen this year.... that's a bold statement.... but it's true.... from start to finish i fell in love with this film and will make it part of my library and proudly display it....

5 out of 5 stars.... something that is rare for me.... just the storyline deserves the 5 star review.... the theory that the world will stop if the storytelling stop.... however, the storytelling in the world never truly stops.... especially with the invention of television.... but just the idea that it could, is a fascinating concept.... but when you add the actors, the cinematography, the costumes, the script and everything inbetween this makes this another amazing addition to the Terry Gilliam catalog of films.... the man never ceases to amaze me.... like him or not, you can't deny the power of this film.... not to mention, Tom Waits is a main character.... and he's worth the price of admission alone.... so go out and watch it as soon as you can.... and keep the world turning, by participating in some storytelling of your own....

if you like this, see: '12 Monkeys', 'The Fisher King' and 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'


  1. I had to watch this twice to get the whole story, but I have to agree it was yet another of Terry Gilliam's masterpieces.

    It also didn't seem to detract from the story that Tony had 4 different looks throughout the film. It was all brilliantly done.

    I'd like to add 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen', 'Time Bandits', and 'Brazil' to the recommendation list. ;-)

  2. i agree with how they handled Heath's passing.... it was ingenious.

    consider those titles added to the list....!