As a die-hard Nightwish fan, Imaginaerum was an absolute must-watch for me. I have followed the creation of the project from the very first steps on the band's fb updates, and I was in love with it from the beginning, so I might be a bit biased, but on the other hand I know almost every hardship they had to face during the process of creating a movie. Mind you, this is not your regular Hollywood movie, with 10s of millions on the budget...
The special effects were beautiful in my opinion and considering their budget, they did a spectacular job on bringing this story to life. The jumps from scene to scene might be confusing at first, but every one of them makes sense in the end - it makes one think about them after watching the movie. It also helps if you watch it multiple times. (4 times in my case. :) I flew to Finland just to watch this movie.)
The music is absolutely beautiful and awesome. Petri Alanko did a great job on mixing the original album (released last year). So we have the Score to the movie (released on the 9th of November) which is a perfect fit to the scenes of the movie. Knowing both albums already before watching the movie did help in understanding certain scenes, even made me anticipate some with great curiosity. While I know not everyone who watches it will know or like Nightwish' music as much as I do, I can still recommend listening to the album "Imaginaerum" if you leave the movie theater with too many questions.
Tuomas Holopainen's remark in 2010 about the album fits the movie as well, in my opinion: To me the album sounds like a roller-coaster ride in a theme park designed by Neil Gaiman, Tim Burton and Salvador Dali." The reference to the story of The Snowman" works perfectly as well, and personally, I can see some homage to Stephen King's epic story The Dark Tower" too which Tuomas Holopainen admits to liking. I don't want to spoil that story to anyone, but the roller-coaster ride in the movie did remind me of the last parts in the last book in that series...
Imaginaerum is not an easy movie. It includes difficult aspects of life that many people have to face (getting old, forgetting your whole life, etc.), and how one can deal with these - accepting the inevitable is important, just as much it is important to forgive. Add a dark, yet amazing fantasy world to this, and you have Imaginaerum a movie that I wholeheartedly recommend to watch.
PS: Some scenes (e.g. the circus) might be a bit disturbing to some people (children maybe).
Imaginaerum tells the story of an elderly composer, Tom, who suffers from severe dementia. As he has had the disease for years and has regressed into childhood, he remembers practically nothing from his adult life. His music, friends, all his past including the memory of his daughter are a blur in his fragile mind. All he has left is the imagination of a ten year old boy. As he drifts away into coma, it seems impossible to get back what he has lost. Or is it? The film is a journey between two different dimensions. Tom travels through his imaginary world seeking answers and finding memories, while his daughter, Gem, tries to recover the bond she had once shared with her father in the real world. As they have become more and more distant from each other over the years, and as there's even greater obstacles separating them now Tom's coma and his imminent death Gem's project feels doomed to failure. However, through Tom's darkest secrets, Gem discovers the path she must follow in order to...
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