THE PRESTIGE

-
The Prestige Cover Batman, Wolverine, Black Widow, Ziggy Stardust, and Alfred Pennyworth, star in this Victorian melodrama about magic and misdirection. Or, you can also say that this magical-movie is Directed by Christopher Nolan; and Stars: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Scarlett Johansson. It was conjured into existence in 2006, and then disappeared again 130 minutes later.


The Prestige


THE STORY:
In Victorian England, two rival magicians compete with each other over the topic of legerdemain. The first man is called Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) - and the second man is called Alfred Borden (Christian Bale).

THE SET-UP: Now, at first, both of these men were colleges in this game of misdirection - competing and collaborating together, with there menial talents. However, when Robert’s wife suddenly dies due to Alfred's unorthodox actions - Robert becomes obsessed with getting his revenge on him - resulting in Robert shooting Alfred during a gun wielding act he is performing on stage.

THE WITNESS: Please note, amidst this rift, an associated ingénue (developer of magical contraptions) named John Cutter (Michael Caine), plays spectator in the early bout of revenge between these two men - witnessing the games that they both play so they can prove their own.

THE UNIONS: Moreover, Robert is also obsessed with making a name for himself too - and he hires a beautiful assistant, named Olivia Wenscombe (Scarlett Johansson), to aide him with his on stage antics. In turn, Alfred is additionally obsessed with tendering to his trade as well - plus he finds the time to befriend and marry Sarah (Rebecca Hall), whilst fathering a child with her.

THE TRICK: Still, apart from personal ambitions, next comes a trick that gives Alfred the decisive advantage in this game of magician verses magician.

Conceptually, this trick appears rather simple in its execution - Alfred teleports himself from one side of the stage to the other with the use of a set of revolving doors. Obviously, Robert is intrigued by this ‘trick’, even though he can not figure out how Alfred is doing it.

THE PAYBACK: So what does Robert do about this dilemma? He hires the ingénue, John, do devise a way to do Alfred's trick - Roberts way. And does this work? Errr - yes and no. Yes - to the audience; and no - to the drunkard actor (Hue again) whom Robert hires to execute this trick with.

Well, you see, within this time, Alfred befriends Roberts beautiful assistant, Olivia, and finds out how Robert copied his trick. Worst still, is that Olivia falls in love with Alfred, and together, they find a way of subverting Roberts act, whilst inadvertently damaging Roberts leg in the process.

THE FINAL CURTAIN: Oh! Poor Robert - no act - a gammy leg - and a future full of woe. What can he possibly do now? Hmm? Maybe Nikola Tesla (David Bowie) can help him? Which is why what next transpires is a right hocus pocus I can tell you. As relationships strops - people pops - teleportation chops - crime drops - and at the end of the day, magic pulls out all of the stops.

How so? (1) Set up the trick. (2) Dazzle them with sparkly lights. (3) Amaze them. And (4) Finally, once they are in the palm of your hand, hold onto them with a grasp of amazement.

Now that’s magic.



THE REVIEW:
Bloody hell? What a confusing movie! Hey! I do mean this in a good way of course. Because how can a film in which you can see Scarlett Johansson in a bracing Victorian bodice, be a bad thing, huh? You see, what I meant by my opening remark, was: (1) This film is fractured in the telling. (2) It is lavish in the cast. And (3) Overall, this is a film that you have to really commit to - just so you can understand it in its entirety.

Well, as I said, this is not necessarily a bad-bad thing - it’s just don’t blink or fart whilst 'the Prestige' is being played, or otherwise you might miss an important part of the overall grand tale.

So please, for heavens sake, do not watch this film in a sand box once you have eaten a can load of beans!


Hugh and Scarlett in The Prestige


Funnily enough, while I’m on the subject of 'heaven and beans', what a cast! Caine (the elderly guide), Jackman (the torn performer), Bale (the obsessive underdog) Johansson (the princess), and Bowie (the mad inventor), all of them just do a magical thing in this film. Because not only do you believe who they are and what they are doing, but you also forget any of their previous incarnations as well -  making this film of wanderlusts and misdirection all that more special.

In addition, I found that the overall production value in the sets and in the backgrounds aided in the production greatly - it took you back to a by gone age - obviously enhanced to make it feel more gothic in tone.


Batman and Wolverine in The Prestige


OK, I confess, I did find that the story was presented in a somewhat staggered fashion - with part of the end shown at the beginning of the film, with additional minor interludes scattered throughout, as if this story was being told by some unseen narrator. Granted, at first, you presume that this narrator must be the Michael Caine character. But over the course of the movie, the telling is divided by many of the main players, so one single narrative isn’t conveyed, but rather a number of different narratives are conveyed.

Confusing right? Yes, to some degree. But I found that this only hindered a handful of scenes - and overall, this confusing movie has a very magical story-line. Come on - look at the cast - look at the subject matter - look at the period - and look at Scarlett's ta-tas...


Johansson's Tits


Whats not to like? 

THE RATING: B+