If you’ve never seen a Terry Gilliam film before, you’ll be baffled and likely frustrated by the storytelling style and visual exaggeration that are trademarks of his weird and wonderful movies. A former member of the comedy team Monty Python, a peculiarly English sense of humor suffuses his films too, from Time Bandits to The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Brazil. In the spirit of disclosure, I am a big fan of Gilliam’s work and have looked forward eagerly to the cinematic release of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and really enjoyed it.
Truth be told, I didn’t particularly like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight and while I could objectively see that his performance as the Joker was terrific, it was also troubling and twisted, a sufficiently unpleasant role that it was hard to appreciate the actor beneath the makeup. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus offers a much better vehicle for his acting prowess and I was quite pleasantly surprised at what a splendid performance he gave. He’ll be missed.