Guest Review; The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

This is our first guest review from one of our partners over at Blue Mold Mr. Tom O’ Bedlam;

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is a phantasmagorical masterpiece directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. Gilliam has proven himself to be a talented writer and director across time, known largely for his affiliation with Monty Python. But his latest film reaches new heights in terms of creativity. This movie is many things: a parable, a myriad of confounding images, a look at the inner workings of the human imagination, a dream, a fantasy. It’s visually amazing, and although it contains CGI, traditional set techniques were still used throughout the entire film. I was glad to see Gilliam practicing the dying art of authentic film making and that he was able to incorporate CGI without overdoing it. It’s a shame Heath Ledger died mid-production, but the film makers were still able to complete the role of his character in a way that worked well.

The film is the story of Dr. Parnassus’s dealings with the devil and their consequences. Parnassus lures people into his Imaginarium and tries to win their souls to stories and the imagination, where the Devil tempts them into hell with addictions and desires. The two begin to bet with each other as to who can win the most souls the fastest, only at stakes that by a twist of fate jeopardize the life of Parnassus’s beloved daughter Valentina. Beyond that, I will say no more because it’s too complicated and I don’t want to give anything away. On par in terms of weirdness with the most recent Cohen Brothers film “A Serious Man,” The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus will transport you to an alternate reality you might find yourself unable to leave.


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