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    August 10, 2013


    Imaginaerum is a movie made especially for you if you are either into gothic-cum-symphonic rock or a hardcore fan of the Finnish band Nightwish. Either way, this musical fantasy directed by Stobe Harju is a complete adventure of fantasy that deals with heavy presence of artsy music, concepts, natures and themes. In Imaginaerum, a coma sends an elderly Thomas Whitman into his childhood’s sinister fantasy world – a place so dark and so mystical that it was influenced by his tormented past of losing both his parents and his beloved wife. As he suffers from severe dementia, the disease has regressed him into childhood and he practically remembers nothing about his adult life. Slipping further into coma and nearing death, Thomas must fight his dementia by seeking clues and memories inside the fantasy world while his estranged daughter Gem struggles to recover the bond she once had with her father in the real world, before it is all too late.

    Genre: Musical/Fantasy/Science Fiction
    Classification: P13
    Release Date: 25 July 2013
    Running Time: 85 minutes
    Distributor: -
    Director: Stobe Harju
    Screenplay: Stobe Harju, Mikko Rautalahti and Richard Jackson; story by Stobe Harju and Tuomas Holopainen
    Starring: Marianne Farley, Quinn Lord, Francis-Xavier McCarthy, Ilkka Villi, Joanna Noyes, Keyanna Fielding, Stéphane Demers, Ron Lea, Hélène Robitaille, Nightwish

    Plot: A coma sends an old man into his childhood's sinister fantasy world, where he must fight dementia and gain back his memories before it's too late.
    This artsy gothic-fantasy will definitely leave you breathless for sensible story and ultimately many will find it confusing. The movie starts out like something you would have watched from Tim Burton’s classics or from the canvass of Salvador Dali. For starter, the first act touches on the boy’s issues, which culminating into steady plot-building that allows the audience to start tying up and gaining a clearer picture by the time the movie enters a crucial third act. There are several amazing scenes which are equipped well with strong artistic works and emotional journey attached to it. The scene where Thomas discovers the death of his father and him pushing his daughter away is ingeniously made and filmed. But occasionally, the plot also runs into rabbit holes that stumbles the pacing. Casual moviegoers would be left to ponder about the need for the plot to be cryptic, something that you really need to think and to suck into the movie to really enjoy it. But as Thomas digs more into his pasts, the plot starts to make a whole lot more of senses as it progress thus beginning to ditch away those vague and hazy intentions.

    The metaphorical world is built up beautifully thanks to some strong images and sceneries that make use of the limited budget to portray some great but otherwise dodgy effects. Along the great cinematography work, the music and score companion courtesy of the elements from Nightwish’s vocal and soothing rock tunes are the greatest rewards for both the audiences and fans, which justify the moods of the story. However, the only thing that holds this movie a few notches backward is the effective character development. Some of the characters are underserved and restricted, while there are also abruptly contrived just for the purpose of they should be there. Even when the characterization is somewhat short in some angles, the problems does not affect the emotion nevertheless.

    For better or worse, Imaginaerum is decently made, beautiful, dark and cryptic movie that will satisfy the hardcore fans of the Finnish band Nightwish; while offering strong emotional, scenery, imaginary and music along the way.

    Story: 3.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 4.5
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 14.2/20.0
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