Monday, May 10, 2010

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Terry Gilliam's films are always beautiful to watch. The special effects, the imagination, the fun of each film is always something exciting. Many times, Gilliam's films don't quite reach above the spectacle and tend to fall a little flat. I feel this is mostly true for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Much of what we are watching is enough to keep us entertained, but the plot falls a little short.

While watching the film I wondered how much of Ledger's death caused a change to the film. Were there plans for a different end? A twist? Or, was Gilliam able to keep to his script with the help of Farrell, Depp, and Law? I'm sure I could do a little research to find out the answer, but I haven't done so yet. The climax of the film really seems to fall in on itself. Much of it a little too over the top, silly, and unnecessary. There could have been better ways to deal with the issues at hand.

Christopher Plummer is the highlight of the film. Every scene he is in is a hundred times better than any other scene in the film. And this is where the film is stronger than the average Gilliam film. Instead of image being the best part of the film, the acting of Plummer takes over. Also, Tom Waits as the devil is a perfect idea. Waits is fantastic as the smart assed, gambling man's satan. In fact, everyone in the film puts on a great performance.

The film isn't going to be the film to live on for many years. It isn't filled with anything new. There is no reason to spend a whole lot of time with this film. But, for a first viewing, it is a lot of fun. The type of film you see, enjoy, and tell others to watch.


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