I just want to kick this review off by saying that this is, by far, the best Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell movie that I have ever seen. However, do not let the title of this film fool you, it is not by any means a children's movie; let's just say that it definitely earns its PG-13 rating.
Let me give you a little background on this film. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus follows the adventures of a rag-tag group of sideshow actors lead by a man named, you guessed it, Doctor Parnassus. However, the good doctor soon finds himself in over his head after making one too many deals with a shady character. Now the doctor has to race against time in order to win one last deal that will decide the fate of everything he cares for the most.
The preformances in this film are fantastic. Christopher Plummer, a.k.a: Doctor Parnassus, does an awesome job at playing pathetic characters and getting the audience to feel sorry for them and there is no shortage of that here. Heath Ledger saves his best preformance for his last as he plays Tony Shephard, the most dynamic (and the most complex) character in this whole movie. Ledger keeps you guessing up till the very end and no matter how many times you see this movie, his preformance seems just as fresh as the first time. Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell also do an awesome job portraying the many sides of Tony; however, their roles are much more brief.
Terry Gilliam, who wrote and directed this movie, is probably better known for his work both writing and directing a few Monty Python films such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This probably explains why this movie takes place in London, England and why all the characters in this film are British. Nevertheless, Gilliam's direction in this film is clever and it seems to become almost invisible as you become more and more involved with the story.
For those of you who are into faster-paced movies, this starts off a little bit slow but it really gets going after Heath Ledger's character is introduced. This film is a definite see and I would even recommend buying the DVD (or blu-ray for all you white collars).
This film was nominated for two Academy Awards: one in Art Direction and one in Costume Design.