In London, the sideshow troupe of Doctor Parnassus promises the audience a journey to the "Imaginarium", an imaginary world commanded by the mind of Doctor Parnassus, where dreams come true. In the stories that Doctor Parnassus tells to his daughter Valentina, the midget Percy, and his assistant Anton, he claims to have lived for more than one thousand years; However, when he fell in love with a mortal woman, he made a deal with the devil (Mr. Nick), trading his immortality for youth. As part of the bargain, he promised his son or daughter to Mr. Nick on their sixteenth birthday. Valentina is now almost to the doomed age and Doctor Parnassus makes a new bet with Mr. Nick, whoever seduces five souls in the Imaginarium will have Valentina as a prize. Meanwhile the troupe rescues Tony, a young man that was hanged on a bridge by the Russians. Tony was chased until he finds and joins the group. Tony and Valentina fall in love with each other and the jealous Anton discovers that his ...Written by
RubyRed, Seattle, Washington USA
After the death of Heath Ledger, production was shut down for a few months. Then it was re-started when Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell agreed to complete Ledger's role. The film's fantasy premise, and some clever re-writes, let the actors play a man whose appearance changes as he travels between imaginary worlds. See more »
When Dr. Parnassus is following Valentina through the concourse, two young school girls in uniform pass him. Moments later, when he's outside, the same two girls can be seen entering into the concourse in the background. See more »
Ladies and Gentlemen, step up. Step up! I am Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, and invite you, invite you, sir, for one night, one night only, here at this venue to enter the mind, the very great mind, huh, of Doctor Parnassus. Dr. Parnassus!
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The credits begin with "A Film from Heath Ledger & Friends", which is tribute to Ledger who passed away during filming, and a nod to his real life friends (Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law), who stepped in to finish his uncompleted scenes. See more »
It is impossible to write about this entry into Terry Gilliam's oeuvre without acknowledging the tragic death of Heath Ledger. Cast as the film's inciting character, Heath Ledger's untimely death spawned and air of sadness that blankets the film, especially considering the tragic nature of his character.
Of course, as they say, the show must go on, so "The Imaginarium" did as well. in an outpouring of cinematic industry kinship, Johnny Depp ("Fear and Loathing"), Colin Farrell ("In Bruges"), Jude Law ("A.I.") stepped in to play Heath Ledger's character, Tony's, alter ego when he is in the mirror world. What this film would have looked like had Ledger not departed can never be known. How much film had to be scrapped, how many scenes were restructured, what funding fell through as a result, I do not know.
For these reasons, the film, in all of its imperfection, seems to get a pass from me, as I find myself wondering how a film production would recover from such a blow. The only even somewhat similar circumstances I can think of off the top of my head is Brandon Lee's death during the filming of "The Crow," and the massive reshoot efforts undertaken to remove Kevin Spacey from the film "All the Money in the World," coincidentally played by Christopher Plummer ("The New World") who co starred with Ledger ("A Knight's Tale") in "Imaginarium."
So those are my caveats for a film plagued by problems. I watch this film with a wave of sad forgiveness and dream of its original intentions.
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