Tuesday, 5 August, 2008

The Prestige- Review

Are you watching closely?

The first time I saw this film, I was left speechless by the sheer twists in the plot. The second time I saw the film, I was sure that this was a master-piece. The Prestige, a tale of 2 magicians, is one of the greatest contemporary movies you are likely to see. Right from the start, it grips your attention, as the movie opens with the lines-"Are you watching closely", and you better be, as there are so many sub plots in the movie, and the narration too, flits back and forth in the time-dimension. The epistolary narrative (:D a word which I ve not heard of before reading the wiki article about this movie- Epsitolary means that it purports to be a collection of real documents,diaries in this case) keeps you on the edge of suspense as each scene unfolds infront of your eyes in typical Nolan style.

Borden and Angier coming out of the Chinaman's show

Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) are small time stage hands to a magician. There developes a harmless rivalry between the 2 young, but talented magicians, which later turns ugly, duty a series of events, all starting with the death of Angier's wife in the midst of a trick, for which he blames Borden's judgment. They part ways, with Cutter(Michael Caine) taking Angier under his wing, whom he feels, is the better performer of the two, despite admitting that Borden was a superior magician.

What follows is a series of sabotage attempts by both men, as they try to run each other down. I am not gonna spill any spoilers here, as it would take away the magic of the movie. One fine day, Borden unveils a new trick- The Transported Man, which Angier acknowledges,as the greatest trick ever. He and Cutter work on a copy of the trick, but nothing satisfies Angier. He even sends his assistant to join Borden and spy on him. She gives him Borden's diary, and he starts off on a journey to America, to meet the physicist Nikola Tesla. This is another undercurrent of the movie, as it is very similar to the war of currents between Tesla and Edison.

Angier witnessing some "real magic",courtesy Tesla

Tesla sees the same obsession he has, in Angier and agrees to help him. With Tesla's contraption, Angier returns to the stage and has the audience spell bound. But his ultimate aim of going one up over Borden drives him to stage his own death to destroy the life of his rival. The movie is filled with powerful twists which will hold you spell bound. Hugh Jackman plays the role of Robert Angier with great finesse. Michael Caine, as ever, is a class act. But Christian Bale stands out with his fantastic portrayal of the often-conflicting picture that is Alfred Borden(am deliberately wording this sentence to avoid spoilers). The problems he has with his wife, the fathomless love for his daughter, the rivalry with Angier, these aspects breathe life into an otherwise dark plot. Christian Bale is definitely an actor to look out for. Watching the movie a second time bolstered my impression on Bale. He simply steals the show.

This is one of those rare movies which you ll enjoy all the more as you watch it again. The screenplay and camera work are exceptional. Christopher Nolan announced himself with The Following followed by Memento (ripped off as Ghajini in tamil). With Batman Begins, he changed the way superhero movies are made, and with Prestige, he has taken movie making to a whole new level. This is one of my all time favorites. I would recommend you to watch this movie atleast twice and please email your feedback to me at pdeepak88@yahoo.co.in.

Until Next time.....................


Vivek said...

Yeah.. It was a great movie.. worth watching atleast twice.. I see you're doing good work here, mate.. keep it up..

The Insomniac said...

Thanks mate.