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Imaginaerum
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Imaginaerum More at IMDbPro »

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72 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Imaginaerum is not an easy movie to wrap your head around, but if you stick with it till the end, I guarantee you will shed a tear or two.

8/10
Author: Sini from Finland
23 November 2012

Imaginaerum is one of those movies that will leave you confused for the first hour in to the movie. The bits and pieces of the soon fading memories of Thomas Whitman will confuse you and give more questions than answers. The last quarter of the movie will offer some explanations, but some will remain and the gaps in the life of Thomas Whitman are left up to the viewer to imagine.

The special effects are beautiful, but cannot compete with Hollywood movies with multi-million dollar budgets. Actors do their jobs pretty well, but some of them are not as convincing as you would like. Especially the young Gem Whitman leaves something to be desired. Francis X. McCarthy on the other hand is very convincing playing the role of the old demented song writer Thomas Whitman.

If you are a Nightwish fan, you'll get a kick out of this movie. If you have never heard of the band called Nightwish, you might enjoy it anyway if you are one of those people who like the fact that not everything is clear at the very beginning.

Overall, the movie is very touching once you get into it. It's not one of those "leave your brains at the door" movies because you really have to think and try to identify with the characters. With this movie, you can't expect things to be handed to you on a silver platter. Though something else might be...

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58 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful dark dream

8/10
Author: Hannes Riedel from Germany
12 February 2013

In few words Imaginaerum is a dive into a man's surreal dark dreams with superior strengths in terms of powerful images and music and some minor weaknesses in character development and acting. What may appear as another childish adventure at first quickly develops into an emotionally demanding journey dealing with very adult conflicts on a metaphorical and artistic level.

In detail Imaginaerum starts off rather associative. Really strong pictures and music (reminding me of Tim Burton movies) guide the audience from the very first second deep down the rabbit hole. The Scenery is especially impressive considering the budget of the movie. While technically being a convincing and easy show, scene jumps and plot appear rather cryptic at first. The movie succeeds at creating a rough and positively incomplete idea of the plot in your head quickly and developing that idea scene by scene throughout the whole movie without letting anything become too obvious or boring. The basic ideas appear metaphorical, yet decipherable and believable. I might add that Imaginaerum demands much (but not too much) of the viewer rationally as well as emotionally: It requires active thinking to follow the central plot and it is necessary to apply yourself to the emotions of the movie to understand the scenes. Not doing so will greatly decrease the value of the experience (and may result in questionable reviews some might have read so far).

The only downside to me is that there was unutilized potential of even deeper character development. They all started interesting but ended a little abrupt. In addition I was not totally convinced by some character acting. In some moments I got that "There is an actor playing a character"-feel which shouldn't come up. Surprisingly it didn't affect emotion and meaning of the movie too much so I can overlook that weakness easily. Having mentioned weaknesses I also want to mention that there were many great moments in terms of acting as well. For example I really enjoyed the great performance of actor Tuomas Holopainen!

Imaginaerum as a "band-movie": I don't consider myself a Nightwish fan even though I don't dislike their music. I was positively surprised that Imaginaerum, in contrast to other band movies, did not make it a 2 hours narcissistic music video. A few times the band is on screen but only adding positively to the atmosphere.

As being someone who enjoys strong images, demanding plots and artistic implementations I totally recommend this movie to my friends and to you. I advise parents to be cautious showing Imaginaerum to children, as some scenes "can be disturbing" (as other reviewers already mentioned) and the movie as a whole may be hard to understand. I personally recommend this above 12 years of age.

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47 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

The Imaginaerum story told in a Nightwish way

10/10
Author: heppe-207-833462 from Sweden
26 November 2012

I went to Hartwall to see the premiere on 10/11-2012. As a longtime fan of the band it was really exciting too see if they could transform a great celebration to life such as the album Imaginaerum to a full time (almoast) movie. They did! For all nightwish fans this is a must see. For others that don't know much about Nightwish this is a weird movie indeed. A mixture of The classic Snowman (1982) and some Tim Burton mixed with Holopainens (I guess) fear for what will happened after his roller-coaster has stopped with Nightwish. The Imaginaerum album is for me an emotional journey within myself. The movie projects that journey to Whitman thankfully. (My fear was that the movie should touch me as deeply as the album. But thankfully it did not. ) Still its a great Nightwish movie and the score is also beautifully arranged. I believe the movie will have some reference audio class for the home movie enthusiast. Could be wrong, but the sound and volume was impressive in Hartwall! And if you like me also love the moodier instrumental arrangements by Nightwish you must go buy The Score. Animations (lots of them and green screen effects) was also well done if you consider the budget. A great step forward compared to the Nightwish videos you have seen with animations.

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45 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

A great ride...

10/10
Author: kacsa-et from Austria
1 December 2012

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).

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35 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Wow

9/10
Author: Guy Mcfly from United Kingdom
25 April 2013

I had no idea what this film was about nor had i ever heard of this film until torrentday. This is truly an epic film and one that i will not be forgetting for a long time.

The acting the graphics are faultless and the music score by for me an unknown nightwish fits the film perfectly. Some scenes may be too harsh for kids.

This is a film that baffles but easy to put together with a truly wonderful and emotionally ending.

Will my friends like it? probably not. But i can truly say i will not enjoy a film like this again for a long time.

My hat is off Stobe Harju.

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38 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

A True Masterpiece

10/10
Author: stacey-espinoza
27 April 2013

This film cannot be explained to those who don't understand it themselves. One would know if they understood it if it reached into the deepest parts of your soul and you felt something you never knew you could. I guess that is why there are so many reviews saying the film was bad or didn't make any sense. Those are reviews from people who didn't understand why the film was made and what it was about. I admit I was very skeptical to watch it at first because of the reviews, but I'm glad I did. I am a Nightwish fan of course, but that had no effect on how I viewed the film. This film cannot be explained in words, for it is much more than that. I don't think I've cried this much in happiness than I did with this piece of work. In my opinion, it is a masterpiece. That is all I can say of this film by Nightwish. It is a true masterpiece.

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29 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

A Fine Story - you have to wait for

7/10
Author: R B from United States
25 April 2013

Having just finished watching this, and then reading the other reviews I am at a loss for all the fuss about the sub par special effects. They looked a lot better than the 250 million dollar Oz the Great and Powerful, which felt sadly fake in near every scene, and both movies are fantasy, so I saw nothing lacking in the special effects. The dialog in the opening of the movie for about 20 minutes is really just not great, but being a fan of Nightwish I stayed with the movie, and was glad to do so by the halfway mark. The other reviewers pointed out the homages so I will skip them. Coming at this film after seeing Tommy, The Wall, and Harry Potter films, I was not left in the lurch as many were about what was going on. I knew darn well I was seeing symbolism at every turn and was enthralled by it. The scene where the generations overlap in their pain was pure brilliance on the screen. I had never seen optics used in such a way to juxtapose two time periods and create a mood while still piling on the symbolism to even deeper meanings. The skipped words between characters in certain scenes is tasty for those who like being appreciated by the filmmakers to be smart enough to recognize what they were - like with the combination. It may not start out tidy but it gets that way. I was surprised by the idea that it was a movie with music and not a music movie. I was under the impression it would be more like Tommy than The Wall, it's not. The brief appearances by the band did leave me wanting way more, because I am fan of the group, but it didn't hurt the movie a bit. If only the beginning was as good as the rest I would give it all the stars, but it does open so poorly it would not be honest.

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28 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Amazing work!

10/10
Author: Ioann Maximov from Brazil
2 May 2013

Absolutely fantastic piece of art, specially for Salvador Dali and Tim Burton fans, not mentioning Nightwish Anette-era fans. For just 10 millions budget they had a great work of SFX. The art of the movie fit very well in the feeling of the story and sometimes you cannot understand is this happening in the real world or in the dreams of Thomas Withman. For me this dubious atmosphere is the biggest point of the movie. And the soundtrack in my opinion was one of best of this year till now. The only thing that can be very complicated to understand for somebody is the plot, that is very complex and hard to understand. But if you do, you'll see that this is possibly one of best stories told this year. Absolutely must-watch movie!

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25 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

An illustration of our greatest voyage - Life

9/10
Author: lauluisa from Estonia
4 May 2013

Finnish Book of the Dead. Or perhaps of Dying. Or perhaps of Living? This film is imagined to life by the band Nightwish. Don't get me wrong - you can watch it even if you haven't heard of them at all. But it would be a bit like watching Dune without having read the books. If you are a Nightwish fan, this is a must see. I'm a fan myself, not die-hard, but still fan enough to have all their albums and having listened to them many times over. I loved seeing them in the film, I enjoyed seeing Tuomas, Marco and the rest very much. I used to cherish Tarja-era Nightwish and rejoice to hear Floor joining them, but I didn't appreciate Anette much and felt ashamed because of it. Now I'm happy to have shed my guilt and to appreciate Anette much more. But back to the film. Right away I have to draw a few parallels: The Velocity of Gary, The Book of Stars and Big Fish jumped to mind. Tim Burton has been rightly mentioned here already. This is a film to be contemplated and returned to and, as such, it is definitely not a kiddie movie. I've seen my fair share of fantasy flicks in my time and wasn't in the mood to add one more to the collection, but, as the story - or rather, the flashbacks of a fading mind - progresses, the fantasy becomes a visual framework to illustrate the story and the ideas behind it - and the story doesn't get beaten up and buried by special effects. That'll be the first, yeah? I wish Hollywood would learn this neat trick - to preserve the story, despite all the visual fireworks. Perhaps its the budget? If Hollywood would cut a few billions off the CGI department, maybe the movies would become better? Imaginaerum is beautiful as a whole: the special effects are stunning (unless you're a Transformers fan), the cast look like they really care about the story - which does become clearer towards the end - and it's all well carried by the soundscape (by Nightwish). I live and breathe science fiction and for me it is always about us, human beings (unless it is really badly written). Imaginaerum is - at least for me - about the human spirit, about our essence. It is about us striving to finish the last page of our story - even if everything around us - or we ourselves - is falling apart and fading into nothingness. "As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water." ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

One of the most underestimated movies

10/10
Author: Arie Platkov
9 August 2013

It's achilles heel is that this movie is so unknown that I first encountered this film was by mistake, while i was just searching new 2013 trailers. this movie is definitely overcomes most of the movies from the years 2012\2013!

This film is one of the most interesting films i've ever seen.

The plot is really unexpected but if you pay enough attention for details you'll realize how the entire plot and all characters are fitted together despite that the scenes are pretty much scattered and not realistic. but it's how the people's imagination works, especially if a person has a Dementia.

I'll definitely highly recommend my friend to watch it!

I salute for the makes of the movie and who came up with the story.

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