The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus review

Few can bring fantastical tales to the screen with more style and utter originality than Terry Gilliam and with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus he has yet again conjured an exquisite fairytale land for us to immerse ourselves in.

The story, however spectacular, is actually quite simple and progresses more like a chaotic dream than a structured narrative tale but, although it doesn’t come close to the likes of Twelve Monkeys, Brazil, or even Time Bandits, it is an improvement on his more recent films (notably The Brothers Grimm and Tideland).

The acting performances are OK (Lily Cole being the surprise package) but the end result of replacing Heath Ledger, who died during a break in shooting, with Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell is just odd and only makes sense in the context of what happened. It is a shame for all involved that the film is, and probably always will be, best known for the circumstances that took place during its production because although it isn’t the most well-rounded of films, the images from The Imagination of Terry Gilliam remain quite a brilliant, unique sight to behold.

3 out of 5

20th Oct 2009 | Official site | On IMDb