Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer, Twelve Monkeys, 9), the leader of a traveling show, lost a bet with the Devil (Tom Waits, Dracula, The Outsiders) and must give up his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) when she turns sixteen. The Devil makes another bet with Parnassus and, with the help of a stranger named Tony (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight), tries to save his daughter. The first thing that will get your attention in this movie is the incredible scenery. Utilizing fabulous costumes and vivid colors, the movie is a visual delight. The story is pretty solid and keeps your attention, even when it drags a bit. The acting swings from really good (Ledger, Waits, Plummer) to really bad (Verne Troyer, Andrew Garfield). Of course most know this was Ledger’s final role before his death. Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell all filled in as Tony in the imagination world to finish the film.
Depp is good in a very brief appearance and Farrell is surprisingly good as well. Law, who I generally like, seems out of place here and very awkward. Unfortunately, the fact that Tony appears different in the imagination world and nobody else does hurts the film a little, but given the circumstances involved, it is understandable. This is a very interesting and very strange film; sort of Alice In Wonderland meets Monty Python meets a really intense acid trip. This isn’t a surprise considering it is directed and co-written by Terry Gilliam of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas fame. This movie is not for everybody, but I really liked it and recommend it.
On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8