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Every single person behind this film, from director Christopher Nolan, starring actors Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, to the writer of the original novel by the same name, Christopher Priest, deserves an award and has my thanks for a wonderful time.
"The Prestige" is long, two hours and 20 minutes...and worth every second.
The time is necessary in order to weave the masterful plot as delicately as possible.
A critical key to the movie’s success, and this is true for all great mysteries, are the blatant clues contained throughout the film. Right from the start the film hints at the ending, yet the earliest anyone – that I have talked too – has taken nearly the entire film to figured out the multiple "secrets" of the film at 15 minutes before the ending. I personally got close about an hour-and-a-half in.
The even better part - can you tell I like this movie yet? - is that the movie is NOT linear. Perhaps this too was necessary for the intricate telling of a rivalry so great it forms, molds, and breaks the lives of two men and the people around them; regardless it also forces every viewer to pay on-the-edge-of-your-seat attention to order to catch every little detail. By the end of the film, both men have lost loved ones, parts of themselves,
and a darling child is caught between them, as a bargaining chip for one, and as a daughter of the other.
The acting, from everyone, is top-notch, especially considering the numerous roles many of the actors are required to perform. If a character is not fleshed out or does not develop, they are not on screen more than once and even then only briefly. Almost anyone with a name in the film shows a change from beginning to end; the plot and writing is as such that sometimes this happens more then twice, three times, or even four times! This includes the mythically portrayed Nikola Tesla, played by none other than the great artist David Bowie, Scarlett Johannson as the entrancing and seductive assistant to both magicians, Olivia Wenscombe, as well as, the little girl Jess Borden, played by Samantha Mahurin with maybe five minutes of screen time and about as many lines.
I would say I have a problem with the film but the only one that comes to mind is the downfall of any mystery; once you know the ending, it can be a bit tedious to watch it again. However, the action of the film, from caged drownings, shootings, botched magic tricks, blatant betrayals, and plot revelations, made the second time around just as enjoyable as the first while I made note of the many hints the movie gives to the ending throughout the film. The film is rated PG-13 for a reason though. With such intense scenes, please think twice before bringing a small child to see the movie; that said, the movie is listed as such only for violence and disturbing images necessary to bring tension to the story, you won’t find any vulgar language or grotesque nudity in the film.
The set and costume design, exactly like the casting, music, and again, acting, is perfect. The intense rivalry between professionals is pulled off without a single hitch, and due to the aforementioned work, this is shown within the entirely believable setting
of the Victorian age. The camera work and general cinematography does all this hard work justice as well with spectacular lighting and views ranging from bustling cities, seedy bars, mountain hideaways, luxurious hotels and homes, and several looks into the darker side of the magic business.
Simply put, "The Prestige" is a tale of love, lust, honor, art, craft, professionalism, revenge, and ultimately, life; it was worth my money, and my time…twice.
Last edited by Shas'o Tau Dev'n Kauyon; May 12th, 2008 at 12:51.
Sig by:Knape, The Celestial, and Marlinspike, thanks guys!
Artistically, I welcome you all again. After my prolonged companionship in the forum is not, I could not track down the password to your olden profile and started a new one. I'm happy that I am again with you.