I’ve long felt that Terry Gilliam was a director that hasn’t quite earned his reputation. Now, I know that diehard fans of his are more than willing to debate this with me. But it always feels like his movies are almost there, like he’s never fully put it together outside his work with Monty Python. This isn’t to argue that he’s not great or worth watching or worth debating, because he’s certainly worthy of all that praise. I guess I just never understood people’s slavish devotion to him.
That said, whoa. I had no expectations for his latest, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, aside from it being Heath Ledger’s final movie, but dang this looks kinda funky. I don’t know if he’ll be able to pull it together, but jeeze, he’s got some exquisite eye for set design and imagery.
It’s nice to see that trademark Gilliam tone back, like he’s having fun shooting on the edge of insanity and not caring. It’s what makes his most special projects stand out.