My rating: 8
IMDB rating: 8.5
IMDB link: The Prestige
In celebration of brothers, Christopher and Johnathan Nolan’s Interstellar hitting the big screen early this month, I watched this film as an example of one of their early collaborations. (Also, I watched it because my brother threatened to disown me if I didn’t!)
After watching Houdini earlier this year, I have been quite amazed at the world of “magic” and its place within the theatrical society before the emergence of television. For entertainment, people literally showed up by the hundreds to view these optical illusions, performed by “magicians”.
Success in this industry was intrinsically linked to the charismatic presence of the magician and his assistant. The characters in this film, one charismatic and the other brilliantly gifted in the art of trickery, opposes each other perfectly. As does the actors chosen to portray these characters; in this sense the biggest surprise most definitely is Christian Bale who plays the talented an fiery Alfred Borden.
The surprise element in this film, is what keeps the viewer interested throughout the entire 130 minutes. Just when you think you know who has the upper hand, the other reveals a trick so grand that it leaves the viewer stunned. Through the course of this complicated struggle for power, the themes of revenge (and its consequences), loyalty and family are explored.
Neither these characters can truly be regarded as protagonists, as the one is as treacherous as the other. Of course, in such an intricate game of changed loyalties there are always some collateral damage and therefore the two main female characters (played by Scarlet Johannsen and Piper Perabo) does invoke some sympathy with the viewer.
Another quite touching thing about this film is the very unique father-daughter relationship that is portrayed through the course of the film. In spite of all the treachery, the family aspect is constantly explored.
Nominated for best achievement in cinematography at the 2007 Oscars, this film is definitely worth the watch.
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