|Review: The Prestige
||[Oct. 21st, 2006|10:34 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
Take an uberly-hyped movie with an A-list cast and renown director backed by a studio that has had a recent string of bonafide new classics in the last 5 years and you are setting yourself up for anything but disaster.
Michael Caine works again with his Batman Begins starts Christian Bale and Michael Freakin Caine, or as Tater's brother refers to him "That Old Guy." Christian Bale as Borden delivers a powerhouse, greatly nuanced performance as the more talented of the the rival magicians, while Hugh Jackman seethes as an embittered soul who has more talent for showmanship than the actual magic. Michael Caine acts as a mentor to both magicians, particularly Jackman's Angier. Loved Michael Caine in the movie. What more is there to say about him? The man is a freakin institution.
The movie is rife with themes of contrast. Not only do the American Angier versus English Borden act as converses because one magician is talented with showmanship (Angier) and one with the actual illusions (Borden), there are other over-arching themes. These are including but not limited to the following: magic v. science, Tesla v. Thomas Edison, obsession v. catharsis, revenge v. honor.
You are probably wondering about Tesla. Portrayed by the iconic entertainer David Bowie. He actually had more screen time than I anticipated. It is a small role, but it is a good one.
The climax is the best part as you would want it. That sounds like such an obvious statement to make, but so often Hollywood fluff leaves the high point of the action as anticlimatic and that simply does not happen here.
When you start putting all the clues together in this enigma-filled extravanganza, you will be in utter belief at the level of writing required to pull of such a story-driven masterpiece.