Saturday, October 28, 2006

the prestige

Early in The Prestige (trailer, official site), Michael Caine as Cutter, a designer of illusions, explains:

Every great magic trick consists of 3 acts. The first act is called the Pledge. The magician shows you something ordinary but, of course, it probably isn’t. The second act is called the Turn. The magician makes this ordinary something do something extraordinary.

Now you’re looking for the secret but you won’t find it. That’s why there is a third act called the Prestige. This is the part with the twist and turns; where lives hang in the balance. And, you see something shocking you have never seen before.

This is the approach screenplay writers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan have created in honing the plot of the movie. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman Begins and Memento, The Prestige is masterpiece of illusion, misdirection and stunning conclusion.

In the Prestige, the story isn’t linear. Rather a series of flashbacks advance the action. The pledge is the emergence of a rivalry between friends and fellow magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). In the turn, the rivalry becomes a war and Scarlett Johansson as Olivia and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla join the battle. And, the prestige? I can’t reveal the details, but it is everything Cutter promises and it is why you must go see this film.

The characters in The Prestige are not likeable or particularly deep. However, the acting is uniformly outstanding, and the magic is a fantastic backdrop for the complex and suspenseful storyline. Ricky Jay and Michael Weber served as consultants.

Bonus link 1: The Secret Life of Harry Houdini
Bonus link 2: the “War of Currents

2 Comments:

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no way... i was *this* close to writing up a review of 'the prestige' last night. decided to sleep instead.

but i definitely second everything you said above the movie. good flick, worth the cover. not so great that you should over-anticipate it, but well worth sending the kids to grandma's house for a night out.

sj

ps: i thought 'the prestige' was seeing bowie as tesla. you give away too much, paul ... (so therefore i won't give away who his assistant is ;)

 
At 9:15 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I agree that this is a good movie. The flashbacks (and flashback within them) work well, using the two diaries as a support to the narration. The interaction and of Angier and Borden lives and their strugle are really a great story.
Once explained I thought Borden's trick was clever, but I was very disappointed by Angier's. In fact it really killed it for me.

 

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