Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus - 2009 - Dir. Gilliam

MAN! Gilliam is nuts. I believe I've said before that I'm a huge fan of his. I was actually kind of nervous to watch this one so I passed up the chance to see it in theaters. It looked a little bit like Brothers Grimm Redux, yeah, I'm still reeling from that one, I guess. It's not Brothers Grimm Redux though... It seems to to leap into the area pretty frequently, but never gets too out of control. To some degree, I find it really refreshing to watch a movie that doesn't really bother with typical storytelling. It's more like a fairy tale. A very scatterbrained fairy tale (I get the impression that some things were edited for time making it more scatterbrained). At the same time, it also illustrates why certain storytelling elements have become so frequently replicated. Gilliam, however, seems more interested in visuals and images. And the movie is chock full of them. Parnassus' stage is friggin' incredible. I was very hesitant with the CGI, Gilliam always seems to work much better with practical effects, but in the end, I think it worked in the context of the film. I was really impressed with the acting in the film. Andrew Garfield especially, after seeing him in Social Network, doing a completely different kind of role. Ledger's performance is a reminder as to how damned good he could be. The Depp/Law/Farrell stand-ins are a little surreal (even in the context of the movie, but they also just look a little creepy) but they work. The movie can be a struggle to keep up with at times but it's a really satisfying modern fairy tale and a breath of fresh air these days. It's not perfect, but it's fun enough to warrant repeat viewings.

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