Sunday, November 26, 2006

Movie Review: The Prestige

The Prestige is a very clever, demanding movie which is structured around a stage magician's trick. The movie itself is a beautifully crafted illusion that is truly mindbending. The title of the film refers to the final phase of an illusion. Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are two stage magicians in turn-of-the-century London who were both friends and who, through an incident during a stage illusion, become bitter rivals, always trying to outdo each other with the ultimate illusion that the other can't explain. Their rivalry eventually becomes an intense battle where both are obsessed with winning, willing to sacrifice everything in the process - those they love and their morals. The movie begins with Borden in jail for the murder of Angier -- but not all is as it seems. We are taken back to the beginning of the story and we follow the journey of these two men as they ruthlessly battle with each other. The actual plot of the movie is difficult to describe without giving anything away -- so I won't. Jonathan and Christopher Nolan are responsible for the screenplay with Christopher directing (the Nolans brought us the brilliant Memento). The Prestige is superbly crafted - plot, cinematography, acting (except for Scarlett Johansen who, disappointingly, is not up to her usual form) - all providing a rich, engaging, intelligent piece of entertainment that will leave you scratching your head when you leave the cinema. Those whose appreciation of good film has been dulled by late night television movies may find it unsatisfying -- it is hard work. Not your average film by any means! The Pledge is likely to be an Oscar contender next year. Definitely worth a look! My Rating: **** (out of 5) Positive Review 'To talk more about the movie's layers is to risk giving away too much. I'll say only that this film confirms Nolan's status as the director whose work I look forward to more than any other.' - Lawrence Toppman/Charlotte Observer Negative Review 'Thus, we find ourselves watching an ice-cold movie about competition that contains not a shred of rooting interest.' - Mick LaSalle/San Francisco Chronicle Content Advice violence and disturbing images AUS: M USA: PG-13

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god this movie is captivating and intriguing. It's filled with thrill/action/adventure/suspense. Nolan mystifies his audience..