Posts Tagged ‘Jude Law’
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 02:54 Written by Jeremy Tuesday, 24 November 2009 02:54
When discussing the SMEx schedule for OIFF before 2012 I really pushed to have this film added to the list. Directed by Terry Gilliam and of course being Heath Ledger‘s final film I have been looking forward to seeing the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Now what is a director meant to do when the star of their film meets his untimely demise? Many would just go back to the drawing board and start again, but luckily in this case Hollywood came forward to help get this film released.
This was the first part in our Sunday double-event so while we did not meet up before hand, between this and the next film we did manage to get some all-you-can-eat Mongolian grill at Djengis Khan! We also found an interesting sculpture of three chickens which non of us had ever seen before. Of course this doesn’t top the sculpture we found after watching 9, but thats for another review!
the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a story about a monk who made a bet with the devil for immortality and won. But over the years he makes further bets with the devil until we reach modern day London and its time for one last high stakes game. Dr Parnassus travels round with a small troop of travelers offering to take people into a world of pure imagination. After some hard times they find Ledger’s character Tony, in a reasonably morbid scene, hanging from a bridge in central London. He joins the group while he recovers and quickly falls for Doctor Parnassus’ daughter. There are some really rich roles in the film, with Christopher Plummer out performing the other cast in the role of Dr Parnassus. But there are also some great performances from Lily Cole and Ledger himself.
For me, the film really felt lacking in structure, the story felt chaotic and I went through the movie having to constantly guess about whats was going on. Most of these guesses were proved wrong by some of the interesting twists in the storyline! But for me the movie was saved by the wonderfully entrancing sequences inside Dr Parnassus’ imagination. This was where the real charm of the movie shone through, and with some clever rewriting this is where Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell were able to step in and replace Ledger. Each giving excellent performances and adding a new perspective on the main character Tony.
Overall the film was wonderfully colourful and enjoyable, the parts set in modern day London were shot in almost perfect locations and even those scenes really added to the surreal feeling Gilliam is trying to create. Gilliam’s python-esk is certainly apparent throughout the film and very noticeable when inside the mind of Dr Parnassus. But i can’t help but think the story was hampered by having to rewrite the script around Heath Ledger’s death. Not that it is in anyway Ledger’s fault, I just can’t help but wonder if the film would have been significantly less chaotic if they had managed to film it as one. As far as I, and probably the rest of the world are concerned Heath Ledgers crowning performance will always be in the Dark Knight..