Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Dir: Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Tideland, Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
Cast: Christopher Plummer, Andrew Garfield, Lily Cole, Verne Troyer, Heath Ledger, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell

To see and hear a review of Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, check out my vlog

I always look forward to Terry Gilliam films, he has such a unique perspective and tells us crazy stories. He has the ability to create entire worlds that are familiar enough to be accessible but different enough to pique our sense of wonder. This is exactly what he does with The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, by drawing us in to and through a world that is beyond what we could ever imagine.

What a mythic world it is. It’s quite unusual to incorporate magical realism while not shying away from actual social and economic structures. Not that this is something that pops out at you, we’ll leave that to the rich and awe inspiring art direction and costuming. But, what makes these individual pieces work, is that it all works together. Everything is interconnected, intertwined and falls perfectly into place. It’s seamless.

But what is a fantastical world without people to play in it? Enter a dream like cast for a dream like film to take us on this journey. All of the performances are brewing with flavour from Christopher Plummer to Lily Cole to Tom Waits. Andrew Garfield (Boy A) delivers an intensely strong performance as Anton, literally lighting up the screen every time he appears.

While watching, it’s undeniable that you are aware that this film holds within it Heath Ledgers last performance before his untimely death. Although we are aware of this it doesn’t hurt the film, in fact it pays tribute to him in the most magical way. The creativity used to do this is so spectacular that knowing enhances the experience but won’t take away from anything if the audience happens to be unaware. Doing this means future audiences will understand and enjoy the film, with or without context. The result is the creation of a timeless masterpiece.

Shannon's Overall View:

I loved it
I'll watch it over and over again
I highly recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

Seen as a part of the Toronto International Film Festival which runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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