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View Full Version : My Review: The Prestige


irishjayhawk
10-21-2006, 09:39 PM
http://acrazyone.com/2006/10/21/the-prestige-2006-theatre/

Long ago, or what seems like it, my spotlight fell upon a particular trailer. At the time, The Illusionist was opening shortly. The Illusionist had beaten The Prestige to the punch. Set at the same time and dealing with the same subject, The Prestige seemed to be a potential “copy cat”. Fortunately, it dealt with a rivalry rather than love, which is quite possibly what saved it from being permanently labeled a “copy cat”.

“Copy cat” seems to be a trend in the plot of The Prestige. First, the film copied Batman Begin’s cast with both Christian Bale and Michael Caine in the credits. Plus, the writer and director was none other than Christopher Nolan who also coincidentally directed Batman Begins. Imagine that. Once again, The Prestige seems to copy as they then added Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson who both had dealt with a magician earlier this year in Scoop (Review). Then, Nolans film deals with the notion of “copy cats”.

Friends Rupert (Jackman) and Alfred (Bale), with the help of Cutter (Caine), assist a magician as each boy is looking to one day become the star. Bale turns in a convincing performance, but it’s Jackman who could perhaps have snagged himself his best performance to date. Bale’s performance is slightly hindered by the part because it doesn’t blossom until very late in the movie. It is then that his character’s emotion starts to take hold and he starts to soar. Jackman is superb all the way through. The rivalry, or almost brotherhood, created by the pair has extraordinary chemistry. You could feel the hate and competition seething through their veins until the credits roll.

Caine, as always, has a good screen presence as well as an abundance of lines - important lines at that. I was worried, as I highlighted in my spotlight, that the bulk of Caine’s lines were in the trailer. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. Scarlett Johansson doesn’t come into the picture until a quarter or more into the movie. Sadly, she really doesn’t offer much we haven’t seen. Her character is sort of important, but she doesn’t make it seem like it. She just wasn’t up to par.

The Nolan brothers’ screenplay was superb. It had twists and turns throughout. Perhaps its only flaw was the saving grace: it made you think. That’s right, if you want a movie in which you sit and are entertained, don’t expect it from this. Instead, engage it like you would a magic trick. Instead of being entertained, try to pick out the secret of the trick. It is through this mindset you’ll truly discover the movie’s brilliance.

One must also realize that this, unlike the Illusionist, is not about love. Well, to be fair, love does play a part. Instead of the main focus being a love story with a happy ending, the film shows love as a sacrifice and ends brilliantly. Although, half the audience will hate the ending while the other half will love it. Count me in the latter group. Speaking in not liking a film, the Illusionist was disliked by most for the number of cheesy tricks or special effects (both of which I found to be satisfactory, considering the art film genre it aimed for and the film’s message). The Prestige walks the very fine line as well but comes out way ahead of the Illusionist in terms of effects and the grandeur of the magic.

If the film does have one downfall, or at least one that most people might be keen to point out, it’s the running time of 134 minutes or 2 and a 45 minutes. Personally, while it could be shorter, the scenes that drag are the love scenes, which in the end, are what help the movie’s point make more of an impact. Of course, my perfect running time is 2hr - 2hr 15min. Do yourself a favor and catch the magic on the big screen and you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Talisman
10-22-2006, 08:31 PM
Good review. I really want to see this. I thought the Illusionist was really good, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this.

One question: At the end of your review, you say that it has a running time of 134 minutes. Did you mean 164? Because 134 is 2 hrs and 14 minutes...

AZORChiefFan
10-22-2006, 10:06 PM
I saw it last night and was vastly underwhelmed. I liked the Tesla stuff. But thought the movie was a little too long or too boring. Pretty much all of my friends thought the same thing. It was interesting but not great and a bit long.

irishjayhawk
10-23-2006, 03:49 PM
Good review. I really want to see this. I thought the Illusionist was really good, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this.

One question: At the end of your review, you say that it has a running time of 134 minutes. Did you mean 164? Because 134 is 2 hrs and 14 minutes...

Good catch. Not sure. I read 134 but I clocked it at 2:14 or so minus trailers. Course I could be wrong.


@AZ - You, my friend, are the first person, that I've seen/heard say they didn't like it. :P