The Prestige (12A)

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The Prestige

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 7 2006

With ‘Following’, ‘Memento’, ‘Insomnia’ and the uncommonly smart blockbuster ‘Batman Begins’, Christopher Nolan has established himself as a filmmaker fascinated by the fluid, tricksy contingencies of memory, identity, narrative and time: the way we depend on the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, and the little slips and dodges, ignorant or willed, that allow us to keep those stories straight – at least for a while. Selfhood emerges from these films as a rickety trick, an illusion dependent on misdirection and oversight. Apt, then, that the director’s latest is a story about magicians.

Nolan’s first period picture, ‘The Prestige’ shares the fractured chronology common to his earlier work. Based in turn-of-the-last-century London, the plot centres on two ambitious young illusionists: flashy, easygoing Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman, abetted, as in ‘Batman Begins’, by Michael Caine) and the more original but less extrovert Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). Fellow apprentices turned bitter rivals after a grisly onstage accident, their escalating feud is a game of cat and mouse played out in a hall of mirrors, set in cramped prison cells and Colorado expanses as well as theatres, as they compete to deliver the most spectacular version of a teleportation trick that calls for something like real magic.

Jackman and Bale make impressive tango partners, neither wholly sympathetic nor villainous, each drawing out the synergy between his character’s personality and his onstage style. It’s a handsome film, too, beautifully photographed by Wally Pfister in a chocolate-and-cinnamon sepia palette flashed with electric blue. But ‘The Prestige’ languishes in a structural Catch-22 of its own making. Explicitly modelled on the pattern of a magic trick, it’s also bound to the rules of the mystery thriller genre; yet the one relies on lingering uncertainty, the other on full disclosure. And in devoting so much room to hollow romantic subplots, the film ends up breaking two of the magician’s cardinal rules: not only does it tell you how it’s all done, it takes so long about it that you’ve got time to look up its sleeves and work it out for yourself.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Nov 10, 2006

Duration:

128 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|29
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Al

Poor film. Hard to care about anyone and the magic isn't intriguing or clever enough to make up for the film's failings. Watchable but disappointing.

Zee

Everyone will have different opinions on this film, and mine is that is it just truly amazing. A clever story-line which kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for more tricks and twists.

Zee

Everyone will have different opinions on this film, and mine is that is it just truly amazing. A clever story-line which kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for more tricks and twists.

Jigsaw

hey faggot, if you can't even make a good movie, then shut the fuck up, and get the fuck out

Jigsaw

hey faggot, if you can't even make a good movie, then shut the fuck up, and get the fuck out

Liz

A superb film with superb acting from Hugh Jackman and especially from Christian Bale. You need to be prepared to think for yourself and invest your full attention in the film to really appreciate what your watching. Its one of those movies you find yourself thinking about long after you've seen it and best of all you can watch it again and again, which I recommend as on a second viewing you gain a fuller understanding of the story and can appreciate the nuances of the storyline. Watch and enjoy!

Liz

A superb film with superb acting from Hugh Jackman and especially from Christian Bale. You need to be prepared to think for yourself and invest your full attention in the film to really appreciate what your watching. Its one of those movies you find yourself thinking about long after you've seen it and best of all you can watch it again and again, which I recommend as on a second viewing you gain a fuller understanding of the story and can appreciate the nuances of the storyline. Watch and enjoy!

davie higham

looks good, well shot and fine performances. ultimately, this movie is poor, it's about as interesting if the subject matter were clowns who were all competitive; who cares. one clown gets upset about another, one clown fancies the others wife. one clown decides to do something radical. then i fell asleep. dull movie, goes on forever.

catweasle

this film is pure class, repeated viewings are also enjoyable, infact almost essential to fully appreciate its depth. bale is superb as is jackman. must see film and far better than 'the illusionist'

catweasle

this film is pure class, repeated viewings are also enjoyable, infact almost essential to fully appreciate its depth. bale is superb as is jackman. must see film and far better than 'the illusionist'

Magmabulle

A very clever story, in fact almost too clever with all the twists, but not bad. One might also see it as a fascinating study of human obsession. Finally, I really do wish that David Bowie sticks to doing music.

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cockmuncher

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film ruiner

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