Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final Farewell

from Daily Dose

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the last film Heath Ledger was in, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Heath only completed half of his performance in the film, due to his untimely death. The Director, Terry Gilliam, finished the movie by casting Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell to play different versions of Heath's character. Gilliam said, "Fortunately, I was surrounded by really good people who insisted that I couldn't be such a lazy bastard and that we had to go out and find a way of finishing the film for Heath." Gilliam also added that Jude, Johnny, and Colin all accepted the roles knowing they wouldn't be paid much on the film. He said, "They're all doing other films, they're involved in other projects, and they came to the rescue of this thing. They did it solely, basically, for nothing. The money they would have been paid went to Matilda, Heath's daughter. To me, they're the real heroes." Heath appears throughout the film as Tony, a crooked philanthropist. His three replacements, meanwhile, only pop up in dream sequences. (Farrell's sequence is the longest, says one person who attended the screening.) The two-hour film apparently features amazing visuals, but the storyline is rather complex, centering on Christopher Plummer as Dr. Parnassus, a man who runs a traveling sideshow with his daughter, played by Verne Troyer. Tom Waits plays the Devil, with whom Parnassus makes a Faustian bargain, and Ledger's character joins the troupe after they find him hanging from his neck under a London bridge. While most of the audience left feeling a bit befuddled (as one often does coming out of a Gilliam feature) the consensus was that the movie is better than expected.