Some of my all-time favorite movies were directed by Terry Gilliam. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Brazil were brilliant. I also enjoyed Time Bandits and Twelve Monkeys, and, of course, his Monty Python work is terrific. So any time Gilliam comes up with something new, I get excited. Of course, I am sometimes disappointed. The Brothers Grimm was pretty good, The Fisher King was OK, but I loathed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, perhaps his most imaginative work, and one of his boldest efforts, left me with mixed feelings. As you would expect, if you know Gilliam's work, the movie is visually stunning, overloading the viewer with images. The titular Imaginarium, actually the mind of Dr. Parnassus, through which people can experience their dreams, takes the form of a travelling sideshow act. Dr. Parnassus, his daughter, and a couple of assistants travel around giving people the opportunity to have their dreams come true, even if for a few moments.
Imaginarium is, at times, fun to watch, but the story, in which Parnassus tries to win back his daughter, who he's about to lose in a bet with the devil, doesn't work well. This is not Gilliam's worst movie, but it doesn't rank with his classics.
Bottom line, 3 stars.