What do you get if you mix Tim Burton, Baz Luhrmann, a healthy dose of imagination, and some hallucinatory substance — you’ll probably end up understanding Terry Gilliam a litt bit more. Terry Gilliam is considered as a genius by many – I haven’t seen any of his movies thus far, but if his other movies are similar to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus then I’d say he has a reeeaaallly healthy level of imagination (or is high on something …).
I received an advanced preview to the movie and I was going to pass the ticket to my friends but none of them could make it, so I thought I’d give it a go, especially since the movie also received good reviews generally. Now, how can I describe the movie? Well, it’s colourful, it’s imaginative, it’s funny in parts and have I mentioned imaginative? 🙂 The good thing is, it is also backed by a good story. I get frustrated when I watch movies that are high in their imageries but really low on story – if I want to see sequences of pictures, I’d read a comic book instead.
In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dr Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) made a pact with the Devil to deliver five souls in exchange of his daughter’s life. This involves a magic mirror which can only be activated when Dr Parnassus is in a trance. To save Valentina (Lily Cole) – Dr Parnassus’ daughter – Anton (Andrew Garfield) as well as Tony (the late Heath Ledger, as well as Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell) had to jump through the mirror as well to save her. It seems simple, but there are twists and turns in the movie that are a tad difficult to describe *grin*. Heath Ledger put a good performance in the movie and when he passed away during the production of the movie, three of his friends came to the rescue, depicting three different episodes when Tony (Ledger) passes through the magic mirror. There are some touching words that are spoken by Tony (portrayed by Johnny Depp, when the character passes over the mirror for the first time) about immortality, about dying young like Valentino and Lady Diana, not having to grow old and sick.
Despite the out-of-the world imageries and peculiar story, the movie is strangely enjoyable. I did enjoy it a lot, even though it’s not really my cup of tea. It’s good to have healthy imagination and hopefully without the aid of any hallucinatory substance. Hehehe.