The Prestige

A movie called The Prestige went on show today. The film was set in the late Victorian-era and the story was about two rival magicians, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) who tries to outdo each other with their illusions and tricks. Since it's directed by Christopher Nolan, director of Memento and Batman Begins, two of my favorite films, I went out to see it.

I did love the theme of the movie though. Which was -since it's about magicians- the utilization of deceit and misdirection to achieve something. In the case of both magicians, they hide the secrets of their tricks while the other tries to steal or sabotage it with the use of disguise or spies. Later on, they'd learn that the secret they've stolen was actually a fake, a made up secret just to mislead them. The film, too, presented in different time scenes, were designed to misdirect the audiences without making the story too convoluted. But at the end of the film, it all clears up. As if the magician has told you the secrets of his tricks.

The other thing I liked about the film was the incorporation of technology, adding a little bit of steampunk atmosphere to the movie -which reminds of the game Arcanum: Steampunk and Magick Obscura. The two magicians used advanced technological contraptions to improved their acts. So both of them employed engineers and inventors, and attends technological expo to find inspiration. This also brings the movie into the real world involving two historic and rival inventors, often referred in the film as the real wizards, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Tesla -which was played by the great David Bowie- was also in hiding, trying to keep his secrets from Thomas Edison's men. And in every expo, Edison's men always tries to discredit Tesla in front of his audiences.

As for the actors, I think Christian Bale did a terrific job in playing Alfred Borden, a true genuine illusionist who designs clever tricks. Hugh Jackman also did fit as Robert Angier, a performer who loves to charm his audience with his magic. Michael Caine was the true gem but that's probably because he speaks so wisely. Scarlett Johanessen, she's nice too look at but she was under used in this film.

All in all, I think the film is worth watching. Though I'm a bit disappointed at first, and it was my probably my fault for expecting too much from Christopher Nolan. I really did think this film was going to be big and would raise a monument for Nolan. But who can blame me after seeing Batman Begins?