Doctor Parnassusowns is able to guide people’s imaginations with his Imaginarium.
Release Date: October 11, 2009 (USA)
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger
Language: English, Russian, French
Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) owns a travelling show: his extraordinary Imaginarium, in which he is able to guide people’s imaginations.
However, many years ago the immortal Parnassus fell in love with a mortal woman. He made a deal with the devil, Mr Nick (Tom Waits), to exchange his immortality for youth. However, as deals with the devil often pan out, this came at a price: Doctor Parnassus promised Mr. Nick his son or daughter when they turned sixteen years of age. Now his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) is fast approaching her sixteenth birthday and Doctor Parnassus is keen to make a new deal: whoever can seduce five souls within the imaginarium will win Valentina.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is an outstandingly beautiful and remarkable film: it’s achievements are especially great considering Heath Ledger, one of the main stars, sadly passed away part way though filming. However, luckily due to the fantasy nature of the film Terry Gilliam was able to think up a way to complete Ledgers wonderful final performance, by having a star cast of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell step in to play different aspects of Tony whilst he is within the Imaginarium. Their performances all compliment Ledger’s original take on the character, and it is a technique that, although thrust upon the film, never the less works very well indeed.
The film is pure Gilliam at his very best. It is weird, wacky and wonderful: a stunning film.