The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Film Review: The Imaginaruim of Doctor Parnassus
When your lead actor dies in the middle of shooting it is the biggest hurdle any filmmaker has to jump. Terry Gilliam resurrects his film from the ash and presents a stunning fantasy film that dazzles, and amazes, another solid piece by the man who brought us Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King and Brazil. Replacing Mr. Ledger even part time is no easy task and the idea of breaking up the role with three other great actors was the way to go. This was not the first time this has happened in the cinema, the acclaimed Spanish director Luis Bunuel was forced to do the same for That Obscure Object of Desire.
My favorite performance in the piece was Tom Waits’ portrayal of the Devil. I don’t know if this is a complement or an insult but he was perfect for the part, he was dashing, elegant, sly, clever and of course evil. All the qualities we expect of the archetype character. My hat also goes off to Christopher Plummer who was also excellent and still doing great work at the age 80. The special fx also play a major role as it enhances the story and creates the fantasy world in the Doctor’s magical mirror.
Fantasy, myth and spirit are at the top of my genre list however, it must be handled delicately otherwise one could miss the mark. Not the case with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. We travel back a thousand years and are transported to many other mythical places in the good doctor’s head. Gilliam gives a new look at the Faustian tale and writes a good script that weaves through modern day London, some far corner in Asia and a host of new places we have never seen. The climax of the film is not the way I thought it should go but, it still worked. You’ll have to decide that one for yourself because this is a film that is absolutely worth seeing.
To find out more about Lenny Manzo you can visit him at his website, www.lennymanzo.com