Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heath Ledger's legacy

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was the last film that Heath Ledger lent his talent to. He died while still in production & if not for a few talented Hollywood players (& friends of the late actor) the movie might never have been seen by audiences. I'd just like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that he was indeed a gifted if not troubled individual whose death left a mark on those who love to watch the silver screen. I thank him for sharing himself with us.

& now on with the show! This film is not a one everyone would understand. If I hadn't read the synopsis before viewing it, I would have been quite lost for a while. But what a world of imagination to be lost in!!!

This is the story of Doctor Parnassus...when we meet him he is old, mostly drunk, and somewhat of a carnival quack. The people of London do not pay too much attention to his side-show. But for the few who choose to enter, the Imaginarium is a startling place. With the good doctor as your guide you are allowed to navigate into your own imagination and make the quintessential choice...good or evil. But alas fewer & fewer people have an interest in their own imagination & so their wondrous gypsy caravan travels from place to place in search of an other open mind (who is willing to pay!)

The other twist in this story is that Doctor P has made a few wagers with the devil...the first of which he won hands down. It was a trick. Everyone knows not to bet with the devil! Come on! & so he made another wager which he lost. When we begin our story the devil has come to collect...his prize? The Doctor's first born daughter at the ripe old age of 16. With her birthday rapidly approaching, he makes another bet...the first to 5 wins. Choose evil & the devil may take her as his prize but choose good & Valentina is released from the contract. All he has to do is find the willing minds.

OK so like I said...not for everyone. I thought it was brilliant. The costumes & makeup were intense and full of life. They set the tone for each of the characters completely! If I were Lilly Cole I would have jumped at the chance not only to work with such fine actors but to live in that wardrobe would have been worth it for me :)

The scenes inside the Imaginarium were scintillating. Full of wonder and light. The symbolism could have been hokey one minute and incisive the next. The choices were always made obvious to the viewer but never to the individual...

I enjoyed viewing this wonderfully weird and artistic interpretation of this tale of moralistic uncertainty. I probably would not have seen it if not for the interesting true life story that surrounded the making of it, if I am being honest. But I am glad I took the time. Extra added bonus is Mini Me from Austin Powers is a main character!

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Directed By : Terry Gilliam
Written By: Terry Gilliam & Charles McKeown
Opened on : January 8, 2010

Christopher Plummer - Doctor Parnassus
Lilly Cole - Valentina
Andrew Garfield - Anton
Verne Troyer - Percy
Tom Waits - Mr. Nick (the devil)
Heath Ledger - Tony
Johnny Depp - Imaginarium Tony #1
Jude Law - Imaginarium Tony #2
Colin Farrell - Imaginarium Tony #3

Viewed on : 01/10/2010
Viewed with : Monica (double feature...last minute decision)
Recommendation: I wasnt sure what was going on through most of the movie and it was #2 that day so I probably wouldnt spend $10 to see it again but I want to see it again sometime to understand a little of what I missed.

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