A familial camaraderie exists between Alfred and Robert when they first work together as magician’s assistants with Cutter and Robert’s wife, Julia. Their friendship is shattered by Julia’s death, and things take a nasty turn, with each man trying to outdo each other by increasingly devious and violent means. The story plays out like a study of obsession, with both magic and revenge, and the terrible price that both men inevitably pay.
The interplay between the characters is brilliant, and there are as many twists and turns in the movie as there are in the tricks that happen onstage. The world of magic is portrayed as a particularly close knit one, and in many ways The Prestige is a drama about a very strange and dysfunctional family. There is romance, violence, joy, sorrow, and a constant battle of wits that will have you rooting for either Alfred or Robert, depending on who is trying to outfox who.
The Prestige also looks fantastic, from the gaudy stage sets to the fantastic laboratory of Nikola Tesla. The eye candy is as immersive and compelling as the drama is moving. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are both excellent as enemies driven to the brink of sanity, and the supporting cast is also fantastic, with special mention of David Bowie’s eccentric Tesla, and Andy Serkis as his assistant, making for some of the film’s most memorable scenes.
I simply can’t say anything bad about The Prestige. It is, without doubt, Christopher Nolan’s best film, and it makes up for the lack of Batman Begins-style action with dramatic punch. Whether you are looking for a mystery with a nod towards the fantastic, a human drama, or Harry Potter grown up, you will not be disappointed.
- Ivan Sadler
An entertaining story about a pair of rival magicians, full of intrigue, drama and spectacular tricks. But the really magical thing is how well it all fits together.
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