Ledger’s final film draws crowds

By Alyssa Mentzer
February 4, 2010

Shannon Keough

People everywhere hit movie theaters to see Heath Ledger in his last movie, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”

The movie’s A-list actors included Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Lilly Cole and Christopher Plummer.

“I liked the movie, although I think I was simply mesmerized by the effects and not so much the story. Not to say the story wasn’t interesting,” Benjamin Ferguson, senior Spanish major, said.

The movie was directed and written by Terri Gilliam along with Charles McKeown who co-wrote the script. Gilliam has won numerous awards like the Empire Award and LAFCA Award and has also been nominated for an Oscar.

The movie premiered in select theaters on Christmas and premiered worldwide on Jan. 8. The movie was available for viewing in over 600 theaters and made $41,083,282 worldwide opening weekend.

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is a story about Dr. Parnassus’ (Christopher Plummer) traveling theater show and a race against time. The show takes the audience on a wild ride through a magic mirror to explore their imagination.

However Dr. Parnassus has a secret. He has made a deal with the devil, Mr. Nick. This deal allowed Parnassus to gain immortality and later on trade his immortality for youth. The deal came with one condition; Dr. Parnassus’ first-born child would become the property of Mr. Nick on his or her 16th birthday. With Dr. Parnassus’ daughter, Valentina’s (Lilly Cole) 16th birthday approaching, he will do anything to protect her.

“I thought the movie was okay. It had a really weird story line and was confusing at times,” Anny Derrico, sophomore communication major, said.

Although the movie may have received different reactions from viewers, many of them decided to see it because it was Ledger’s final film before his death.

“I thought the movie looked kind of weird, but it was Heath Ledger’s last movie, so I figured it’s probably worth seeing,” Derrico said.

Ledger played the role of Tony in the movie. However a third of the way through the movie Ledger died, leaving the role empty and the movie unfinished.

In order to continue the movie his role was filled by Depp, Law and Farrell. The actors played transformations of Ledger’s character, Tony. Each time Tony stepped into the imaginarium he physically transformed into a new actor.

“I thought Heath Ledger did a good job in the movie. It’s a shame he didn’t get to finish it, but I do think that they creatively incorporated other actors into his role. The transition was pretty smooth. You would have never known that he was supposed to be the only actor for that role,” Kate Riddle, sophomore exercise science and health promotion major, said.

Whether you saw the movie because it looked interesting or wanted one last look at Ledger on the big screen, “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus” stirred up mixed emotions for all viewers.

“This movie is definitely not for everyone. I think you must be familiar with the other works of the director to understand the obscurity of his movies or just enjoy weird movies,” Ferguson said.

To read more reviews and learn more about the movie visit www.rottentomatoes.com or www.imdb.com.

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Alyssa Mentzer

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