Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

I imagine that the only reason people would want to see this film is because it features Heath Ledger in his actual last performance. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) got most of it's credibility from Ledger's time on screen, because, of course, he was magnificent. And then you have Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell completing his role. Why three? I would have just done with Johnny Depp.
Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) travels around with a troupe of performers trying to get people to watch and experience his 'magic' and other-worldly things. He invites his audience into the 'imaginarium', where their dreams can come true. Though all of this is very surreal and perfect, the audiences are getting more than they bargained for, along with the troupe of performers...including his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) who is falling for the wrong person.
In some ways, I felt I had to love this film because of Heath Ledger. In other ways, I just did not get it. It was a visual masterpiece, filled with exuberant performances (one great one from Lily Cole, who I thought was just a super-model) and amazing direction. But it fails to tap into the viewers mind, and unfortunately falls flat in places where it could be aiming for the sky. However, with that said, it is still a film which will enthrall everyone who sees it, thanks to the appearance from Heath Ledger.

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