The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Rated PG-13 122 min. 2009

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus mixes Gilliam’s usual visual excesses; a blend of his absurdist Monty Python impulses, Ingmar Bergman-style lyricism, and his usual fascination with society’s outsiders. But plot, such as it is, seems less critical in Gilliamville, than the director’s beloved atmosphere, which again takes center stage.

Even expository dialogue seems irrelevant. In Imaginarium, characters, especially Ledger, mumble their lines in an echo of the jumbled, chaotic tableaux. The Imaginarium is a typical Gilliam muddle, full of crazed, often inspired imagery (a sequence where Tony scales an enormous ladder into heaven inside the Imaginarium is especially thrilling). But it is difficult to be awed by Gilliam’s imagination when it is so consistently unyoked to story and seems more about the director’s own creative satisfaction than bequeathing his audience some reward for their time

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writer: Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown

Producer: Amy Gilliam

Cast: Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, Christopher Plummer, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Lily Cole, Tom Waits and Carrie Genzel


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

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