HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Prestige, The Use Your Illusion
Year: 2006
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo, Rebecca Hall, Samantha Mahurin, David Bowie, Andy Serkis, Daniel Davis, Jim Piddock, Christopher Neame, Mark Ryan, Roger Rees, Jamie Harris, William Morgan Sheppard, Ricky Jay
Genre: Science Fiction, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 4 votes)
Review: There are three parts to any magic trick: the pledge, where the trick is set up, the turn, where the trick is put into practice, and the prestige, the grand reveal, the essential way to finish it with a flourish. In turn of the century, late Victorian London, there had been a grand rivalry between two stage magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) which had been brought to a head when Borden ventured under the stage as Angier was performing his electrical vanishing act. However, Angier had fallen through a trapdoor into a tank of water and drowned in front of a horrified Borden - now he was up on a murder charge...

The Prestige was based on the novel by Christopher Priest, adapted by director Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan, who wrote the short story Memento had been based on. Similarly, there is not necessarily in the right order editing going on here as we are sent back and forth between the present, where Borden is awaiting the outcome of his trial, and the past, where we discover what drew these two men to loathe each other so strongly. It was all over a woman, and the romantic adventures of these two only cause more headaches for them as the film progresses.

The first romantic interest is Angier's wife, magician's assistant Julia (Piper Perabo), who was tragically killed when a water tank trick went horribly wrong. Both Angier and Borden were the stooges who were meant to help out, but Angier became convinced that Borden had deliberately tied the wrong knot around Julia thereby leading to her drowning. Indeed, Jackman makes his character the more sympathetic despite the despicable things we see both men get up to, and whether you think he had a point, or a better motive at any rate, is up to whose side you wish to land on.

Needless to say, there's no love lost between the magicians, but if they would only set aside their differences they'd see they could become a winning team, one of many ironies in the tale. Borden has the great ideas and Angier the keen sense of showmanship, but when Borden comes up with an incredible illusion - exiting the stage through one door and entering through another immediately after - Angier must know how he does it, recognising that despite the dowdy presentation here is a killer set-up. His ideas man, Cutter (Michael Caine), can only see how it's done with use of a double, and that's how Angier ends up doing it in a moneyspinning show, but Borden sows the seeds of mutiny in Angier's stooge. Well, he did have two fingers shot off by his rival, so he has a grudge to settle.

It doesn't stop there, as Angier's assistant and lover, Olivia (Scarlett Johansson), defects to Borden's side when he asks her to spy for him, and so it goes on. All the way through you're expecting a clever reveal to explain how all this is done, and there's a true classiness to the production that doesn't lead you to recognise the letdown of the finale until it's too late. Added into the mix is that cult figure of fringe science Nikola Tesla, here played by David Bowie with otherworldy grace, who as offered up here is as much a magician with his electric marvels as the others are, but his input is tantamount to explaining that David Copperfield pulls off his illusions by dint of the fact that he's a space alien. It's a real pity, as up until the last ten minutes The Prestige casts an absorbing spell only to stumble badly in the home stretch, rendering what we've seen ridiculous and hard to swallow. Music by David Julyan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4071 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Christopher Nolan  (1970 - )

British director specialising in dark thrillers. Made an impressive debut with the low-budget Following, but it was the time-twisting noir Memento that brought him to Hollywood's attention. 2002's Al Pacino-starrer Insomnia was a remake of a Norwegian thriller, while Batman Begins was one of 2005's biggest summer movies. The hits kept coming with magician tale The Prestige, and Batman sequel The Dark Knight was the most successful movie of Nolan's career, which he followed with ambitious sci-fi Inception and the final entry of his Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises. He then attempted to go as far as he could with sci-fi epic Interstellar, another huge success at the box office, which was followed by his World War II blockbuster Dunkirk.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: