Terry Gilliam. The brilliant mind which gave us Time Bandits, Brazil, Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and multiple Monty Python films. Barring the fact that I was not on a chemically induced high, (which the promos implied that I would need to be), this was not one of my favorite Gilliam productions.
Instead of me trying to explain what the synopsis is, here is a link to the official website. (Trust me, it’s easier this way)
Now that you have read that, here is my take… I got the impression that this was supposed to be a historical Good vs Evil story, but it was more “Eh” vs Evil… Tom Waits was a clearly defined Devil figure, Christopher Plummer was the so-called “good” guy. My compassion level for the Doctor did not even register. He was supposed to be an enlightened person, (this is an assumption as he is shown leading a group of monks in storytelling/chanting) and yet somehow (unconvincingly) gets duped by the devil, and continues to make ridiculously BAD decisions. After he figures out that that Mr. Nick is a force of evil, does he think that jumping in bed with him again and again again (in the form of wagers) is going to be a good thing, or that there is any way he will ever “win”?!? (Yes, it would make for a possibly much shorter movie if he had thought that way, but come on… make me believe it).
No disrespect to the late Mr. Ledger, but I was not feeling the magic that Heath has exuded in some of his memorable roles. (Of which, I expected this to be one) I am not saying he phoned it in, it was just not special for me. Tony’s story started as an interesting curiosity, found hung and left for dead under a bridge, and ended as a shameful disappointment.
The stand out character is Anton (Andrew Garfield). The awkward performance while promoting the traveling show is almost painful. His unrequited love for the lovely daughter of Dr Parnassus, Valentina (Lily Cole) can almost be felt (unless you have never been in love with someone you could never have). She the only positive result of the Doctor’s relationship with Mr. Nick.
I may have missed it, but other than some not so funny and possibly self loathing “comic” relief, what is the purpose of Percy (Verne Troyer)? He may be the Guardian Angel character, but it is unclear to me. He is shown in the past as one of the many monks, but also in the present and throughout history. We know (from the movie) that Dr. Parnassus has been granted immortality, but why is Percy pulled through time with him? (Sometimes I just need to be spoon fed information… )
Rating: 6 out of 10 stars