The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus(2009)
This wacky fantasy (from the wild imagination of filmmaking giant and former Monty Python Terry Gilliam) is about Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary 'Imaginarium' - a travelling show where members of the audience get an opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. It's also about the Doctor's quest to get his daughter paired off to a nice man before the Devil (Tom Waits!) claims her.... More
Terry Gilliam's film is already infamous for the tragic death of Heath Ledger, who passed away during filming. Gilliam hatched a plan: he got Ledger's friends Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law to came on board and play the same character in different versions. They donated their fee for appearing in the film to Ledger's daughter, Matilda.Hide
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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
An immortal monk strikes a deal with the devil and the scene is set for a carnivalesque cornucopia of madcap mayhem.
Despite some seamless use of computer-generated imagery, there’s a charming sense that Terry Gilliam’s latest film could have been made thirty-odd years ago. A timeless, raggedy, throwback appeal makes this fantasy feel like something the ex-Python could have created much earlier in a career notoriously plagued with disaster.
Most notably disastrous here, of course, was the passing of Heath Ledger during production. Three other big name actors – Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell – take over the character respectively whenever Ledger goes through the magical curtain and, miraculously, it seems to work. That is until the odd ending arrives, the meaning of which is so vague that a hastily reworked screenplay seems evident.
But I reckon this is Gilliam’s best film in ages. It’s a fun curiousity; nonsensical and proud of it. The imaginarium brings with it mind-boggling scenes of fantasy and dreamlike delusions. Much like the titular travelling sideshow, Parnassus is a rickety ride, but it's worth stepping right up and taking a trip beyond the curtain...
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