Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus


Go and see The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, do, because even though it has its uneven bits, and the odd just-visible patch here and there, it’s full of glorious imagination, like a big raggedy, faded but still glittering fairy-tale. I didn’t like some bits of it – some of it was confusing, but I loved the experience of it. The visuals are pretty stunning – the costumes and sets just glow. You’d never believe that a stage made from old wood and swagged with plastic sheeting and tarps could billow so beautifully like a ship in full sail, and you can forgive a few things for visual beauty like that.

I’d have loved to have seen what Heath Ledger would have done with his part had he finished the film, but as it stands, the 3 replacement actors fit in rather cleverly – though it’s testament to his charming talent that Johnny Depp is the one you’re left wishing for more of even when he’s only been on screen for 2 or 3 minutes. Tom Waites is a rather delicious Devil too.

There was something definitely creepy about the bartering between good and evil over a 16 yr old girl who looks much older, and is played by a much older actress (Lily Cole)… nevermind the child-beating scene (I can’t reveal more but you’ll know it when you see it) but as a fantasy interpretation of a classic tale, it scoots past the uneasy, just.

Plenty nods to Monty Python too – especially with the cross-dressing Policemen and the giant heads.

Uncertain but delicious, like biting into a Revel and fearing you’ve chosen the coffee one but then gloriously realising that you have, in fact, got the coconut one.

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