Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Prestige (2006)


Exact science, Mr Angier, is not an exact science.

Two magician friends are reaching the climax of their show, when the final act goes horribly wrong resulting in the death of the beautiful assistant. The assistant just happens to be the wife of one of the magicians (Hugh Jackman), and this accident causes irreparable damage to his friendship with his partner Christian Bale. So begins a war of attrition as both magicians try to upstage the other with the newest trick. However, not is all as it seems.

Filmed with typical flair, The Prestige has all the hallmarks of director Chris Nolan. Clever script, non-linear timeline, great cast, beautiful photography, and the feeling that something is not quite right. Nolan favourites, Christian Bale and Michael Caine, are both great with Bale particularly giving a brilliantly accomplished performance, something that he never quite manages in Batman; and Wally Pfister's photography is once again glorious. Hugh Jackman is also great, and displays the kind of screen presence that works so well in the X-men films. David Bowie is a strange choice as the electricity-obsessed scientist Nikola Tesla. His performance is good, and Bowie is enigmatic enough to pull off the role; but he does look like the love-child of Ricky Gervais and David Bowie! Quite disturbing! To add more weird, his assistant is Andy Serkis!

A very enjoyable film, especially knowing next to nothing about it. Chris Nolan continues his ability to craft very intelligent films and get big movie stars to turn in down-to-earth, no-nonsense, yet excellent performances.