Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Prestige

I was reluctant at first to see The Prestige because it seemed that it could have been something similar to that other magic film The Illusionist which I have not seen but am confident is a pretty cheesy film. Upon closer inpsection I realized that The Prestige was made by Christopher Nolan and I always give the benefit of the doubt to a good director or screenwriter. Nolan's reputation with me is mainly based on his film Memento.

The film is a little surprising. It resembles Memento in its convoluted structure which forces the viewer to pay close attention much like the audience at a magic show. The question is posed to us at the outset "are you watching closely?". It is perhaps more science fiction than fantasy and then more about obsession than anything else. The two magicians are engaged in an epic battle of wits to outsmart each other and many lives hang in the balance.

Christian Bale played Batman in Nolan's more popular gig but I still rate his performance in American Psycho as one of my favourite of all time. I haven't really liked him in anything else since then except in The Machinist. He's the magician matching wits with the other magician played by Hugh Jackman about whom I know very little since I tend to avoid comic book movies. It mostly works and they are supported by several good actors including David Bowie who plays the eccentric genius Nikola Tesla .

So I put my faith in the director and enjoyed this movie. Last week I put my faith in Martin Scorsese when I went to see The Departed and I left a little disappointed.

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