The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
God wants, Gilliam dreams, the Film is shot. Like stretching The Brothers Grimm into the present and into the religious.
A ragtag bunch of misfits roams London with a variety act. They literally anachronistic, the eponymous Parnassus is sick with Methuselah’s curse. This comes with the power to touch minds, but does nothing about the boozing and gambling with the Devil. Tom Waits plays magnificent devil, tricky to trick, but not wicked.
His last wager is biblical: his first born for 5 souls. Fitting that Johnny Depp plays a small part. Out from under a bridge comes a swindler and philanderer, tolerated for being able to con unwitting victims into the Imaginarium. The Imaginarium contains all your dreams, but it comes with a crucial choice: the safe comfort of sameness, or the risk of improvement. The Devil takes those who choose safety.
Until there is one soul left, all seems to be going well. The facade of the newcomer finally drops, revealing his true(?) identity, fittingly based on the Third Way. There is no third way, and when cornered the prodigal son reveals his nastiness. His “brother”, the one who was there from before, the one who saw his muse being cheated is vindicated, but in vain. The daughter, the purpose of the bet, becomes one of souls ground between its cogs. Choice becomes meaningless.
The resolution is as mysterious as this very text. The deepness of thought is parallel to the purpleness of this prose. Only the enlightened can distinguish between pretentiousness and epiphany, but all can appreciate the fantastic visual images and discern the overt philosophical messages.
Or you can get a midget…