The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
|The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus|
Theatrical release poster
|Box office||$64.4 million|
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009
The film made its
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was nominated for two
Outside a London pub, an elderly bearded sage named Doctor Parnassus runs a nearly-bankrupt travelling theater troupe, which includes his teenaged daughter Valentina, a
As the troupe crosses a bridge, Anton notices someone hanging beneath it. After they rescue the man and revive him, he spits out a golden pipe that allowed him to continue breathing while being hanged; unwilling to explain his past, the man convinces his rescuers that he has
The newcomer Tony soon joins the troupe as a barker even more charismatic than Anton, who is becoming suspicious. Tony convinces the troupe to remodel the show into a more modern act. While performing, Tony lures a posh, affluent woman into the Imaginarium and follows her, where they enter a pastel-coloured dream-world representing the woman's imagination. The woman's imagination also changes Tony's face to one of her liking; Tony dances elegantly with her, and they notice a motel run by Mr. Nick, but Tony convinces the woman instead to take a gondola ride that wins the first soul for Parnassus. Tony falls back out of the Imaginarium, returning his face to normal. The woman exits shortly after and gives the troupe a vast sum of money as thanks for her marvellous experience. When three other women enter, each re-emerges elated; and thus Parnassus has won a total of four souls. However, Mr. Nick easily takes the souls of four Russian gangsters looking to hunt Tony down for his debts. They chase Tony into the Imaginarium and quickly fall into a trap laid by Mr. Nick. Thus, the score is tied: four to four.
With the bet nearing its end, Parnassus reluctantly reveals to Valentina her secret origins: after ageing from immortality, Parnassus made a new pact with Mr. Nick to be youthful again, in order to win the heart of a woman he loved. In exchange, any child he fathered would become Mr. Nick's property at age 16. Valentina is horrified at her father's revelation. Meanwhile, having discovered that Tony is a fraudulent charity scammer who stole organs from
Distraught and angry over her father's bargain and a lifetime of hiding the truth from her, Valentina willingly gives her soul over to Mr. Nick. Disillusioned by the easy victory, Mr. Nick offers Parnassus yet another bargain: to trade Valentina's soul for Tony's. Therefore, as the mob approaches Tony to hang him, Parnassus presents Tony with his true sturdy golden pipe that will allow to him survive the hanging as well as a near-perfect but brittle replica. Parnassus hopes that Tony will choose wrong; indeed, Tony inserts the cheap replica in his windpipe and thus dies when the mob lynches him. Mr. Nick keeps his word, freeing Valentina's soul but not revealing her new location to Parnassus, who is abandoned to wander in despair for years, trapped in his own Imaginarium.
One day, Parnassus looks up to find himself a pitiful beggar back in London, when Valentina suddenly walks by him. He sees that she is now happily married to Anton, and they have a daughter. As Parnassus watches them through a window, his old assistant Percy walks up to him, dissuading him from interrupting Valentina's new cheerful life. Parnassus finally seems to be at peace, just knowing that his daughter is happy. Soon, Parnassus and Percy have teamed up again, presenting