Monday, April 29, 2013

Movie review: Imaginaerum

In the end of 2011, the Finnish band Nightwish dazzled us with an inspiring concept album named "Imaginaerum". A album that showed all the good sides of the band and also unknown abilities that at least I thought the band did not posses. A year after the album release, band member Toumas Holopainen and the director Stobe Harju could proudly present the movie "Imaginaerum", an exciting tale about a composer that suffers from dementia and only has the imagination of a 10 year old boy left. The composer, named Tom, travels between the real world and his imagination in the search of finding what he has lost and the answers to his questions. And since Nightwish influenced the whole movie, I just had to see it with my own eyes to know if it was as good as the album.

If you do not want to read spoilers, then take your imagination elsewhere from here on.

So the movie takes place in two areas. First we have the real world where Tom Whitman is old and very sick. He is in a hospital bed and is very close to pass away. Visiting him is his daughter Gem, who is almost happy about the situation. She has always believed that her father's wild imagination has only hurt those around him and that his dedication towards his band has caused the death of her mother. It is a classic tale where the anger eventually, thanks to one of Tom's band mates Ann, turns to love. these kinds of stories never gets old, but they are predictable.

No, the fun is in the second dimension, which is in Tom's dreams and memories. We get to follow 10 year old Tom when he is taken into an adventure with The Snowman. But after a crash landing in a wasteland, young Tom gets to know that The Snowman is more like a poison then a cure. The Snowman steals Tom's memories and is probably the big reason to why Tom has gotten his dementia. During this part of the story, we get to encounter with many of Tom's memories, like when he went to the, at the time scary, circus and when his own father, Theodore Whitman, committed suicide right in front of Tom. It is some strong stuff indeed and it keeps the viewers interest.

The story itself was already introduced in the album with the same name, so I was already familiar with it, but seeing this story come to life is just joyful to me and see if it is like I imagined it. Of course I was way of, but everyone has their point of view. It certainly helps to have listened to the album before watching the movie and vice verse, but it is not necessary. But if you happened to have listened to the album before then you will without a doubt recognize several parts of the movie through the songs like "I Want My Tears Back", "Scaretale", "Last Ride of The Day" and "Song of Myself". And yes, the music in this movie is made by Nightwish and they also have their own parts in the movie. For instance, Anette Olzon plays Ann and Toumas Holopainen plays 47 year old Tom Whitman.

The overall production is well made and so is the special effects. I especially liked how The Snowman turned out with his creepy looks. The best part with the special effect still has to be the epic roller coaster ride in the end where The Snowman is doing everything he can to stop Tom only to finally let go in the shape of Theodore. And the acting is pretty decent even if it is not world class, it is enough to make me satisfied.

If it is one thing that I have to complain about "Imaginaerum", it is that you have to take in a lot at once. There are so many questions and mysteries that you can easily be struggling to follow the story. So it takes a while to get the whole picture, but trust me, it is very much worth the time. Another thing that could have been improved is that they could have put more of the music from the album into the movie, but I was pretty pleased with the existing amount, so it is not a big problem.

If you are a Nightwish fan, then this is a must watch. "Imaginaerum" contains everything that made the album great and it also gives life to the music. The darkness and the awesome story almost gives you the feeling that you are watching a Tim Burton movie (admit it, The Snowman has some parables with Jack Skellington from "Nightmare Before Christmas"). So buckle up, hold your arms inside the cart and enjoy the roller coaster ride entitled "Imaginaerum".

Rating: 9/10 Snowmen

No comments:

Post a Comment