George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Christopher Nolan Ranked-HERE
“Are you watching Closely?”
The Prestige is a 2006 psychological thriller film directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan and stars Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier, Christian Bale as Alfred Borden as well as Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Andy Serkis and David Bowie. On a $40 million budget, The Prestige grossed $109.7 million worldwide and has a certified fresh score of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.
After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other. The two friends are now bitter enemies.
This is another Christopher Nolan film that I've never seen, which is embarrassing as I'm sure you all know by now, Christopher Nolan is one of my favourite directors, so I was intrigued to watch The Prestige as many people seem to love it. Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan work really well together so that made me even more intrigued to watch this and the addition of both Hugh and Christian was fantastic.
With this movie, Nolan shows his ability to make a fantastic cinematic experience yet again. Just like many of Nolan's films, the cinematography is great and the 19th century setting works wonders for the film as the storyline feels better suited to that period of life and the dialogue through the film is great as well. The Prestige is one of a handful of magic films I've ever seen, the genre always makes for a fascinating watch and this is simply one of the best films to ever come out of the genre.
Christian Bale is fantastic and fits into the role perfectly he's intimidating yet intriguing to watch throughout and Hugh Jackman is also great in his role and is undoubtedly one of his greatest performances. You get to watch the friendship and the decline it takes throughout the film and this allows you to become invested in both characters even though you think you know the ultimate conclusion. Michael Caine is as brilliant as he normally is in a Nolan film and the rest of the cast all do wonders as well. Seeing how far these two magicians are willing to go to beat each other is what I loved about this film as the story is about revenge from both parties and this makes for a very interesting viewing.
The storyline is told in a narrative that jumps between various points along its time line, which plays out like a magic act itself as it draws in the audience with every new scene. This narrative is what Nolan does best as he can pull this off so well. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. Yet this doesn't feel like any of Nolan's other films, yes the narrative is similar but it feels different and this works wonders for the film. However, as much good that I'm speaking about this film, I didn't quite enjoy it as much as some of Nolan's other films, I love both Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman and like I've said before they're both incredible yet unfortunately the film, even though it is a great film, isn't as good as Nolan's later work. However, when you discover the secret to a magic trick, all you want is to re-watch it and see if you can spot the illusion, so undoubtedly The Prestige demands repeat viewings as I'm sure the twists and turns will work over an over again as the ending is simply mesmerising.
All in all, it's a fantastic movie. The way obsession play out to be the main theme, the way broken timelines are used for storytelling and the way the final twist is revealed are all simply excellent. The Prestige is full of twists and turns which makes for a great period piece that never stops challenging the audience with its clever plot. It is a story about trust and betrayal, magic and illusion yet most importantly the lengths a man will go to while seeking revenge. You may feel duped by the ending but undoubtedly The Prestige is a fantastic film that leaves you on the edge of your seat with its amazing performances and storyline which leaves you wanting to see more films like this from Nolan. The Prestige, to me, was simply excellent.
What are your thoughts on The Prestige?