The Prestige

The Prestige ★★★★½

Wow, this one took me by surprise!

I've always really enjoyed Christopher Nolan and his "puzzle films," even if they get a little convoluted, I can almost always guarantee that I'll at least have a good time. The Prestige really takes the cake though (granted, I haven't seen Memento yet) at delivering some mind bending twists and turns that kept me glued to my seat and my eyes glued to the screen.

It's hard to go into too much detail about this film without giving stuff away, which I never like to do, but it's really brilliantly constructed, especially in the fun, subtle little ways that Nolan uses it as an allegory for filmmaking, explaining from the beginning exactly how the trick is done, encouraging his audience to pay attention to every little detail, but still ultimately maintaining the illusion until the very end. This film is one big magic trick and not only did it have me completely entertained, like any good trick it also had me completely fooled. And man, oh man, those twists! Rapid fire, one after another, and me continually declaring aloud, "Oh shit!"

Rockstar performances from (mostly) everyone involved. Bale's over the top personality feels right at home here, and this may be my favorite Hugh Jackman performance, as I'm usually not the biggest fanboy of his. Michael Cane is charming and excellent as always, and Johansson, who is probably the least convincing of the bunch, still ultimately sells it. Even David Bowie's strange appearance works.

The cinematography is excellent, gorgeously showcasing the perfectly designed Victorian backdrop. It all feels very authentic and meticulously put together, it's hard to find any sort of fault. My one uncertainty lies with the ultimate reveal, the film's final "prestige" of its own. Its very nature feels out of sync with the construction of the film, and takes away from the idea of the illusion. Yet it's so well executed that legitimately can't decide if I like it or not, though my gut is telling me that I'm not a fan. But regardless, I'm definitely a fan of The Prestige in general. I'll buy this trick anytime.

Matisse liked these reviews