Movie Review: The Prestige

December 5th, 2006

(No spoilers review)

A couple of weeks ago now I went to see The Prestige, the new movie from Christopher Nolan (director of Batman Begins, Insomnia and Memento, all great movies). Overall, it’s a very strange, complex movie that I greatly enjoyed, although Helen not so much…

Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale, who also played Batman in Nolan’s recent film) play a pair of magicians with a fierce, dangerous rivalry. They compete in particular with continuous elaborations of a trick named “The Transported Man”. The film jumps around in time with great complexity, and if you don’t watch closely you could easily get lost. But then the movie does start with Cutter (Michael Caine, in another great performance as Michael Caine) saying “Are you watching closely?”.

The performances are great, and the plot is intricate (if a little shakey at times). As the complexities grow the great, strange Nikolas Tesla makes an appearance (played by an unrecognisable David Bowie), and things get odder and odder from there.

This isn’t a film for everyone, but it is very enjoyable for the right person. Highly recommended if you are the right person.

(As for the title, well Cutter explains it best: “Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The first act is called “The Pledge”; The magician shows you something ordinary, but of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”; The magician makes his ordinary some thing do something extraordinary. Now if you’re looking for the secret… you won’t find it, that’s why there’s a third act called, “The Prestige”; this is the part with the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance, and you see something shocking you’ve never seen before.”)