The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - Heath Ledger, a lot of people pretending to be Heath Ledger and plenty of weirdness


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009, UK/Canada/France)

Seen: Thursday, 31st December 2009
Runtime: 122′
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell
Production House: Infinity Features Entertainment, Poo Poo Pictures, Davis-Films, Grosvenor Park Productions, Parnassus Productions
Plot: Doctor Parnassus has made a pact with the devil. The soul of his daughter will belong to the devil once she turns 16. He goes into further bargains with the devil to try to save her from this fate.


Impressions In Short
Weird… And very Terry Gilliamish.

More About the Film
The biggest interest factor of the film for many people is Heath Ledger and I suppose the same is true for me. I was quite curious to see how they dealt with him not having completed the shoot. They did a better job on it than I thought they would… In fact, my mum, who hadn’t known the backstory of the film beforehand, didn’t feel there was anything strange about Heath Ledger suddenly turning into Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.
The opening shot of Heath Ledger is quite a shocker. They start with him hanging, a seemingly dead man, from a bridge. You could almost hear the whole cinema holding their breath for a moment. It was slightly unsettling, how this theme of death was so constant with his character.
Watching Johnny Depp and Jude Law in the part was amusing - they were playing Heath Ledger playing Tony rather than merely playing Tony. Colin Farrell took a different route - he did Tony in his own way. And for me that was the one bit of the film that jarred. Not just because his performance was inconsistent with the other Tonys, but because his bit came in the culmination part of the film. To me it felt like that should have been Heath Ledger - that’s when we finally learn of Tony’s true nature and where the whole “hangman” theme is explained.
As for a verdict on the film as a whole, it’s probably the first time I agree with bhuvan *grin* Part of the reason I keep going back to his blog is that we watch a relatively similar selection of films (we even both have a thing for Bollywood) and yet we seem to come to very different conclusions ;) This is the first time that our feelings are very similar. I too feel that Terry Gilliam’s world is somehow very attractive and yet I can never quite enter it. I like his films and yet I’m always a little disappointed with them.

I think so :) Anyone who likes films with a beautiful design and visuals will be happy with this. And it is a good tribute to Heath Ledger. On the other hand, it is rather weird - if you’re not into weirdo stuff this might not be your cup of tea.

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