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The Prestige (2006)
Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:35 am
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale
The official website
My thoughts ...
-- Magic, predictably, provides a good basis to craft a film that makes you ponder about life ... and issues ... so, if you love to kill some brain cells contemplating issues, the film has it all ...
e.g., truth vs deceit
e.g., reality vs perception
e.g., fame vs fortune
e.g., love and sacrifice
- The film begins well, though it is still kind of early to get absorbed ... (after all, we have seen too many magic in real life) ... but the story does get more compelling and better ... ... the ending is a wow for many people ...
-- Although both cast are good, Christian Bale has a more intense look than Hugh Jackman ... BUT, guess what, the character that will imprint in many is (at least for me, ha ha) ... * Hugh Jackman, the drunkard ... not the lead * ... puzzled? ... go catch the film ... ha ha ha
Hey, highly recommended (as a commercial film) ... I actually enjoyed the film ... It got better as the story proceeded ... and the last few scenes provided a great conclusion to the plot ... wow ... belying the main plot, it does raise several issues about life ... BUT, dont read too many reviews, it kind of damages the plot ...
PS: Critics are likely gonna hate it, thinking it is too contrived ... and either characters may not be as "likeable" ... hiaks hiaks ...
Re: The Prestige (2006)
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:29 pm
A real twister of a film with more than enough contrivances, both plot wise and in terms of tricks. Definitely the most mainstream film from Chris Nolan so far though it's unlikely to garner as much attention or praise as Memento.
Set in turn of the century London, which in itself was a surprise, I thought New York would have more appeal for US viewers, this is a well crafted drama concerning magic, obsession and self destruction.
Good performances all round though I thought Christian Bale's accent was more than a little off, he sounded like a retarded East End thug rather than an inventive magician and ladies man.
The biggest twist is saved for the end and it's one that very few people are likely to see coming.
Well worth seeing especially if you enjoy films with convoluted plots.
Re: The Prestige (2006)
Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:08 am
Nolan is a talented filmmaker who has gone more mainstream with each project, which is disappointing to say the least. But he isn't he first foreigner to have done so, and certainly won't be the last.
Re: The Prestige (2006)
Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:15 am
Well, maybe he will return again to more low key productions. I also don't appreciate his turn from indie hope to mainstream appointee. In my opinon his remake of Erik Skjolbjaerg's masterful Insomnia (1997) indicated a step into the "wrong" direction (cof course only creatively and not money-wise). Although it was a surprisingly good film with some original moments, the extent to which it copied the original (way too much) wasn't an indication for a creative force behind the project, rather than attempt to cash in on a bankable concept. The ending of the film, although poignant in its own way, was evident proof of the latter, as it shied away from the bleak outlook of Skjoldbjaerg's vision which it had already softened over the course of the film through the exclusion of the most disturbing, but in the original concept ultimately rewarding and essential episodes.
After his disappointingly mediocre an un-daring take on the Batman franchise I didn't go out of my way (and into a multiplex) to catch The Prestige, although I've read some benevolent reviews from some critics I trust (not to mention many outright enthusiastic reviews by regular moviegoers who were grateful to see something more rewarding than the usual mainstream product).
But who knows, maybe Nolan will try to reassess his position as a foreign filmmaker inside the system in the future, and a creative spark will make him "burn" again
Re: The Prestige (2006)
Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:49 pm
I rewatched it yesterday on DVD and since my first view lasts back 11 Months (German dubbed, in the theaters, by chance), I wasn't sure if it would remain as one of my favourites of 2007. The decision to put it onto my Top 13-List was suprising even to me - but I found myself still in touch with the film months after the viewing, still impressed and still thinking "Man, that one was extraordinary...that one was very, very, very interesting...", so it was a real temptation. But I wasn't sure... Now I am. It's not only a film about the obsessions an artistic view of life can bring but also a film about filmmaking itself and about being a filmmaker. Nolan certainly knew what the audience expected from this and he gave it to them with a very bitter smile. The narration seems twisted but it isn't - the final solution can only be a disappointment if seen from the pov of a viewer who expected confusing entertainment like "Memento". Nolan handles his own situation as an artist after making two very different and very engaging, contricting, successful (and imo very weak) films ("Memento" and "Batman begins") and he obviously tries to understand the two protagonists (Jackman and Bale are both marvellous) by reflecting his own development - a fascinating perspective which gets even more interesting as the film's metaphorical complex doesn't make a living out of this metalevel but also includes several psychological bits which are rare to find with such a certain weight on certain things - among others, this is one of the best films I've seen so far dealing - highly concentrated - with (male) stubbornness and its consequences that very often end up with a paradoxical self-alienation.
Furthermore, the film is visually exciting. I'm a bit sad that it required a second viewing on DVD to notice that as I probably won't see this one again on the big screen. There are many things you could define as "stylized realism", so I'll keep any explanation. Some parts of the photography somehow reminded me of Harry Kmel, though it wasn't that stylized while the editing brought up Argento, Kubrick and Sirk in my mind (maybe just because I'm studying those three directors very intense at the moment).
I'm still suprised and stunned... when I first saw the trailer in Winter 2006, it unpleasantly reminded me of the @#%$ terrible "Van Helsing" (2004), not only because of Hugh Jackman's presence. I didn't want to see it at all then...
Now I'm grateful and satisfied: 22 out of 25.
By the way, I can't understand why so many people are saying that this is more Mainstream than Nolan's other films - the extreme sarcasm behind the - consciously - artificially bloated narration and its simple ending (I almost heard Nolan saying: "There you have it! Are you satisfied now?") seems like a clear disagree with the audience's trust in the director himself.