Magic is one theme that I have never been fond of in movies. I never caught on to all the Harry Potter buzz, admittedly I did give it a chance however none of the franchise really excited me that much. Even if we look back one year we find the hugely successful Now You See Me, an entire film based around magic – a film I was excited for but ended up hating, this did nothing for my view of magic in films. So it really is a miracle that I gave The Prestige a watch, thankfully the impressive cast and well known director (Christopher Nolan) persuaded me.
As The Prestige began I was immediately doubting my decision to watch it, as the first few sequences unfolded I found myself becoming bored. Oh and this was after being initially angered at being shown the ending at the start of the movie – I really hate when directors do this (However Nolan does make up for this). Things did begin to pick up eventually, once both of the rival magicians got stuck into their competition with each other things got more exciting. One thing I hated in Now You See Me was the fact that major tricks were left unexplained allowing the film to have no limits, The Prestige explained all the major tricks and was still endlessly more entertaining. Both lead actors, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale put in fantastic performances and made their characters both very interesting and watchable. I think it would be safe to say that this has to be my favourite performance of Bale’s and after recent viewings of The Fighter and American Hustle he is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors – he really was great here. The rest of the supporting cast do their jobs but none of them really standout, although this is hard when you have someone like Christian Bale in such a main role.
One of the best things about this movie was watching the rivalry of this pair unfold and develop. What I liked about it so much was that it was always hard to tell who really had the upper hand and there were twists and turns round each corner and it was genuinely difficult to tell who was going to end up on top, The Prestige had you guessing right up until the end. The ending was full of suspense and drama helped by the inclusion of several revelations. The twist revealing that Bale’s character Borden was actually an identical twin was fantastic and was so cleverly done. On top of this came another twist, revealing that the machine Jackman’s character Angier had been using created a clone of him each time he did his trick. This twist left me slightly unsure, the fact that this was a science-fiction ending for a film that was in no way science fiction throughout did slightly discredit the movie for me. However it didn’t annoy me half as much as it should have, this tells me that this twist did work and that I will be able to get over it fairly quickly just because I enjoyed the rest of the finale so much.
Ultimately The Prestige is easily my favourite film that includes magic as a main theme, helped along with some fantastic performances and good direction from Christopher Nolan the result is a really enjoyable movie that has plenty to offer. Are you watching closely?
BIGGEST FLAW – Science fiction ending does throw up some issues
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Bale’s performance
Rating – 8.5/10