“When you get old enough you don’t fear death anymore,
you wait for it and after a while, you hope for it,
even if you don’t admit it.
Do you know why?
Because losing your mind before you go is worse than dying.”
Imaginaerum is a Finnish–Canadian film co-written and directed by Stobe Harju, and is his feature film Debut made in collaberation with Finnish Symphonic Metal Band Nightwish (go listen to their work right now) and made along-side their album of the same name.
The film is about Tom, a 75 year old musician suffering from dementia that has a heart attack, ending up in a coma in hospital.
Whilst in this coma he retreats into a fantasy world mostly resembling an abandoned theme park where he regresses back to his 10 year old self as he has to navigate this universe, reliving events from his life.
Meanwhile in the real world his estranged Daughter, Gem, signs a consent form to turn off his life-support.
Returning to the home she grew up in she is reunited with her Father’s friend and former bandmate, Ann, with whom she also has an uneasy past.
Ann tries to help Gem understand her Father better but after years of feeling abandoned by him she isn’t receptive to this, especially as it is coming from the person she accuses of being more important than not only herself but her Mother in Tom’s eyes.
In the fantasy world the young Tom is trying to escape the Snowman that brought him there and searching for the young red-headed girl he keeps seeing.
All this is backed up with an such an amazing score that plays through out.
Classic Nightwish fare. Metal fused with an orchestral score that is taken to another level whenever we have the joy of hearing the powerful vocals from Annette Olzen.
Think of those epic movie scores we used to get in the 80s from the likes of Danny Elfman.
The film is visually appealing and creative with the makers putting to good use what is a minuscule budget for a film with this many SFX shots. Not afraid to take their time with shots (backed up with the amazing soundtrack) to draw you into this world and it makes a refreshing change from lets throw as much CGI on the screen at once as we throw the camera around like it is being spun in the air tied to a piece of string.
Remember, this isn’t big budget hollywood.
Ultimately this is a film about reconciliation. With yourself and your past so if you are a fan of Nightwish then you must watch this and if you aren’t but like the 80s fantasy, big music type of film then why not try this as well.
And after you have watched this go and listen to Nightwish’s Ghost Love Score.