Prestige, The

A magical, suspenseful drama

Main Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson

Director: Christopher Nolan

Plot Summary: Two feuding illusionists weave webs of lies and deceit in a tragic tale about their friendship and rivalry.

the prestigeTaking place in an exciting Victorian era, this magical film peers in on the lives of two friends turned bitter rivals. Robert Angier (Jackman) is slightly older, more thoughtful and solemn than Alfred Borden (Bale), who is younger and more energetic. Both, however, are geniuses at creating illusions, with the mentor help of Cutter (Caine), the expert magician and showman.

The two take different paths when an accident kills the wife of Angier. He blames Borden, and the movie does leave the manner and matter of the woman’s death in mystery. Of course that is the whole point underlining this drama: mystery. Things happen that, while inexplicable at the time, do indeed have explanations. Which are given later…mostly.

Angier makes it his life’s duty to foil Borden’s act. He hires a young, beautiful assistant (Johannson) and his act does improve, but the rivalry between the two men is stronger than any love of a woman.

This is a steady, slow moving drama, full of twists and turns. I won’t go into details, of course, suffice it to say that since this is a movie about illusionists, you really can’t trust what you see (some of the time) and you can be sure something is up the plot’s sleeve (all of the time).

I enjoyed this above the similar The Illusionist. Both focus on magicians and con men, but this offering was better, both in story and in acting. If you do like the whole illusionist scene, with some secrets revealed, you’ll very much like this movie.

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