Being a big fan of the band Nightwish, this was a movie that I had eagerly anticipated seeing. It didn't get a theatrical release in North America and while I was holding out for a North American Blu Ray release (hell, they shot it in Canada for the tax credits..you'd think we'd get a release!) I got a copy for Christmas as a gift which I believe came from Finland and was region free.
The movie as a whole is visually stunning, it literally is the Imaginaerum concept album coming to life. The special effects are slick and the entire movie has an almost dream like trance state to it. The members of the band do appear briefly throughout, but you can tell this isn't an ego piece as their appearances fit in with the entire movie and don't take away from it. The albums songs fit very nicely within the story and the score version of the album makes a nice backdrop. Having listened to the album many times, it was nice to see how close my interpretation was to the actual thing...very different, but that's the whole point of a concept album I guess.
Like most concept albums, the movie does take multiple viewings to piece everything together. The main characters at different ages throughout was a tad confusing at first, but made sense once the movie was over...this combined with metaphors and dreamworld characters giving some nice nods to childhood (Raymond Brigg's The Snowman is glaringly obvious) representing moments from life all sort of come together at the end with a really nice touching "a ha" moment to wrap it up that puts a smile on your face. Have to say it was actually better the second time around as everything made sense and a lot of little subtle pieces made a lot more sense or at least were more apparent. I've watched it three times now and I just can't seem to get enough of it...
I'd highly recommend anyone who's a fan of the band or the album to check this out...if you're not familiar, it might be a hit or miss film for you.