Terry Gilliam is Marmite. You know what I mean. You either love his work or hate it. I fall squarely into the first camp. I have been a fan since at the tender age of eleven years years old I first saw Brazil. It blew my mind (still does to this day). I spend hours wishing to be Harry Tuttle but end up always being Sam Lowry. The less said about that the better.
Yesterday Mrs Cheesecake and I saw Mr Gilliam’s latest film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. I try, whenever possible, to avoid reviews in advance of going to see a film. Especially when it is a film by a director like Gilliam. Like I said earlier…Marmite. Unfortunately being as exposed to the interwebs as I am some word had managed to sneak through. I had heard words like disjointed and messy.
I’m glad to say that I firmly disagree. Mrs Cheesecake and I enjoyed the film and found it both coherent and thought provoking. Obviously there were changes made due to Heath Ledger’s untimely death but I think they worked. Johnny Deep, Jude Law and Colin Farrell all do good work. The changes to the character’s appearance made sense and I don’t think detracted from the film’s narrative in any way.
I also really enjoyed the performances by Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield. Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits and Verne Troyer were all excellent too. I guess I’m saying that this was really an ensemble piece and everyone brought something to the show.
As expected the film was visually stunning. Gilliam seems to love switching between huge sweeping vistas and small enclosed claustrophobic sets. I guess scope is important when comparing the real world against your own imagination.
I really hope that Mr Gilliam gets the opportunity to make his Don Quixote film. His work deserves a lot more recognition. If you haven’t already seek out Brazil, Time Bandits, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys. These films might just blow your mind. They did mine.