Friday, May 21, 2010

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - DVD Review


Starring Christopher Plummer, Heath Ledger, Lily Cole, Andrew Garfield, Tom Waits, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.
Directed by Terry Gilliam.

Heath Ledger's last performance is within a Gilliam film, and if there's ever been an uncompromising artist, it's Gilliam. He makes movies for himself, and if other people like it, great. I'm thrilled he is so entertained in his own head.

Christopher Plummer plays Dr. Parnassus, a thousand-year-old man who has a deal with the devil (Tom Waits). You know, describing the jumbled plot isn't that easy. Suffice to say, he has this mirror that lets people into his imagination, and when Tony (Heath Ledger) joins the show, he looks different each time he goes in, thus allowing Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell to play Tony on subsequent trips through the mirror.

Visually there's a lot going on, and I still will see every Gilliam film in hopes his narrative has caught up to his visuals. This movie reminded me a lot of The Brothers Grimm. Interesting but messy. It's a highs-and-lows offering.

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