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Nightwish takes you on a stimulating dream
Gothic Metal legends Nightwish are one of the biggest bands of their genre around the world. They have captivated audiences with their music for years. With their latest album, Imaginaerum, they created a beautiful masterpiece that left a world of imagination. Nightwish has now released a feature film inspired by the album. The result is a visually stunning work of art.
Imaginaerum follows an aging composer, who following several strokes, is regressing backward in age through his mind. We intertwine the story of Tom, the composer as he ages in his dream world, and his adult daughter Gem, as she struggles with losing a father who she believes never loved her. The story of Tom is told mostly with his child self exploring this dark dream. As a child, Tom is played by Quinn Lord, and he does a fine job relaying the terror and fantasy of this dream world.
As we progress through Tom's dream we start to meet various figures from his life. We are introduced to a little girl who would grow to become Gem. Tom has no memory of her and the evil Snowman representing Tom's father does whatever he can to suppress the happy memories of Tom and Gem. The Snowman is one of the film truly wicked characters. From his first appearance something feels off. He's a monster out of your worst nightmare presenting himself as a humble tour guide.
During his journey, Tom meets Ann, a woman from his past that claims to be his voice of reason. Young Tom is reluctant to believe anything he sees in this world. On the opposite side, adult Gem and the real Ann are struggling with losing Tom. Ann does her best to convince Gem that her father did love her and while he may have lost his mind, Tom always cared deeply for her.
We literally take a roller coaster ride from pain and despair to hope and forgiveness as Gem and Tom both reach the end of their journey. Both fight through their own nightmares as the film moves along and the audience will be on the edge of their seats until the final note plays.
This is a fantastic film features some of the most stimulating imagery in modern cinema. The movie has a very dream-like feel to it. As you move from scene to scene through the fades, it is almost as if you yourself are entering a dream state. A perfect blend of CGI sets and real backdrops blend together to give this world a unique feel to captivate the viewer.
It really is your greatest dream and worst nightmare blended together. From the haunting images of the Snowman to Tom's deepest secrets revealing themselves; your heart will pound with anxiety. Countering that is the beauty of the Princess twirling and Gem becoming more than a faded memory will warm your heart. Imaginaerum is a film that will stick with you and make you want to have a return visit to the circus.
As this film is presented by Nightwish, the band does have several brief appearances. They perform haunting musical numbers that tend to seduce Tom and even terrify him. One particular instance at the circus is a horrifying scene involving the most frightening clowns you'll ever see. Nightwish does not detract from the film, nor do they try to steal the show. Rather, they are used to further the story along. As, former Nightwish singer Anette Olzon plays a younger version of Ann. And Nightwish keyboard player Tuomas Holopainen portrays an adult Tom in various sequences. Never do they detract the viewer from what's taking place and are worked into the story in logical ways.
We also have much of Nightwish's Imaginaerum album featured as well. Their music acts as the soundtrack for many of the scenes. Most of the time this works, however their was one scene where "I Want My Tears Back" accompanies a scene of Gem and Ann talking which is slightly awkward given the heavy, fast tempo of the melody.
In the end, Imaginaerum is a film that isn't for everyone. It is a bit jarring at times given the dream like nature of the storytelling. However, the film will unfold in a beautiful manner and be one of the best visual treats you're likely to see. If given the opportunity, I highly recommend seeking this film out and treating yourself. If you are a Nightwish fan, you'll especially enjoy your trip inside Tom's mind. An exceptional film that I hope gets the recognition it deserves.