The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus stars Heath Ledger (best known as the Joker from The Dark Knight), who sadly passed away in the midst of filming this film. So what the filmmakers did, was rope in several of Heath Ledger’s friends (namely Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell) to finish up some of Heath Ledger’s scenes.
Who or what Heath Ledger’s character is supposed to be, I’m not entirely sure. More bizarre is Doctor Parnassus himself, played by Christopher Plummer. Through some flashbacks, we get to see how he is destined to be a side-show entertainer for the rest of eternity, and it’s the Devil’s fault. The main plot here feels lame, and the villain is clichéd and dull.
As good as Heath Ledger and his three friends are in this film, I did not find the character interesting at all. However, I must call out Andrew Garfield (the new Spider-Man), who gives a surprisingly impressive performance. He is probably the only character you care about, and even has a cute little scene where he is making fun of Heath Ledger. Doctor Parnassus’ daughter is played by English model Lily Cole, and she is the center of this very abstract story that ends on a somewhat happy but empty note.
This film boasts huge amounts of CGI effects, all of which are very well done. However, the story drifts away from itself too often, and it’s hard to find any real human emotion other than a tiny romance going on between two of the protagonists. The appearance of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell may interest fans, but their roles are minimal. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is not as mind-blowing as it’s premise makes it out to be.