Sunday, 18 October 2009
First day of married life was spent opening all the cards and gifts. By the end, we felt extremely over-awed at the generosity of our friends and relatives. It’s hard to put a financial figure on friendship, but for future reference – and more importantly, for the thank you cards - we wrote down the amounts anyway.
In the evening, to the cinema for the long-awaited pleasure of seeing Terry Gilliam’s new film The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus.
Thoughts. It’s a game of two halves, really. All the scenes set in the world of the imaginarium are fantastic. Gilliam doing what he does best. Bizarre, free-associating fantasies of imagery. And great performances from Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.
And the other half? The stuff in the real world with Heath Ledger, who, it’s a shame to admit, is the only weak link and the fourth best actor playing ‘Tony’. Everyone else is magnificent; Tom Waits as the Devil, Christopher Plummer as a mad, seedy Dumbledore and Lily Cole as a human doll.
My main criticism, though, would have to be that’s it’s ironic for a film which is one long celebration of storytelling to have such a weak, muddled and poorly-told story at its heart. The script needed a second draft – by Tom Stoppard? – to sort out the whys and wherefores of which bits of plot should go where, to sort out the motivations, and to give the clunky, stilted dialogue a kick up the arse and add some jokes. Only the scene with well-to-do ladies volunteering for soul removal made me laugh.
As it is, it’s a dizzying, undisciplined, ramshackle spectacle which leaves you feeling that it could really do with someone cutting the script down by half an hour. So, it’s a Terry Gilliam film then.