The Prestige (2006)



Today I had every intention of posting a review of Ant-Man and then, 10:30 rolled around last night and I hadn't gone through said review with its (much needed) final edits (ooops!). Add in the fact that I had to watch the final episode of the latest Agatha Christie miniseries (for review purposes later this month) and the plan to have it publication ready for this morning was scrapped. Fortunately, in order to keep something kind of "new" over here, I did have a review publication ready over on Silver Petticoat today.

The film I revisited was the 2006 adaptation of The Prestige.


If you've ever seen this film, it's one of the most "terrifying" (without actually being terrifying, at least in the visual sense) films I've seen. Or if I want to be more specific, of the period dramas I've seen (though it's been taken over by the aforementioned Christie adaptation *shudders*). The Prestige stars Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Scarlett Johannson in a sleight of hand and mind illusionist film that's as mesmerizing as it is brilliant in its sense of place and atmosphere.

Below you can find a portion of my film review, and links to read it in full.

The Prestige (2006) – A Mesmerizing Period Drama Starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale

Anyone who enjoys films that leave you asking, “what just happened?” is missing out if they’ve yet to see The Prestige. There are some films that leave you feeling torn after you finish watching. This is one such cinematic masterpiece. As the credits roll, you’re likely to have one of two emotions. One that might leave you with a heavyhearted feeling difficult to shake. Or the other which is going to leave you with a burden that might be sitting atop your shoulders. This one leans more towards the latter in a figurative if not literal sense.

Ambition is the common thread that unites Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). Working as part of a magic act, Alfred, in particular, wishes the magician they work for would think outside the box. Doing the same boring magic tricks night after night becomes terribly tedious for the clever wanna-be magician. His ideas also go unappreciated by those around him causing him to rebel against what he’s supposed to do. Despite the careful and wise counsel given to both men by the stage manager, Cutter (Michael Caine), tragedy soon results from that ambition.

Caught in the middle of this bitter, tangled rivalry, which only grows stronger with time, are the lives of the kind and beautiful Sarah (Rebecca Hall), whom Alfred marries; the famed inventor Nikola Tesla (David Bowie); and magician’s assistant Olivia Wenescombe (Scarlett Johansson), a woman who quickly proves she’s not about to be used as a pawn by any man. Continue Reading ➔

Have you seen this film? Did you like it, dislike it, didn't care? Comment with your thoughts!
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Rissi
12 Comments

12 comments:

  1. I don't know why I've never seen this movie. I love Hugh Jackman in my favorite movie of all time, Kate & Leopold, and this looks similar. I'm sorry to read that it's not a happy ending type movie, but I'll try to check it out someday soon! Soon!!!

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    1. It's really quite good despite its dark themes, Renee. It's one of those "terrifying" films without being a horror film (if that makes ANY sense). Either way, it's worth a watch if you like period films.

      I've not seen Kate and Leopold. You'll have to look into this one, and I'll have to look into your favorite! :)

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  2. Um, I've never heard of this movie before but now it is definitely number one on the agenda for this weekend!!! Hugh, Christian, and Scarlett???! YES PLEASE. Thanks for sharing, Rissi, and wonderful review! :)

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    1. Fun! I'm glad I could introduce you to a new title. Let me know if you see it, Bekah and what you think. :)

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  3. Such a good movie. It IS terrifying, and I would definitely say that the weight you feel at the end is quite literal. :P It's one of those movies that I sometime lie awake at night thinking about. Nice review, Rissi! :)

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    1. I'm glad you like it too, Sarah. I think it's one I've liked MORE the more times I've seen it (I'm not sure if this was my just my 2nd or 3rd viewing). Either way, I'll watch it now and again and hopefully glean more of its complexities with each viewing. Thanks for dropping by with YOUR thoughts. :)

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  4. I've only seen this movie once, when it was in the theaters. It knocked me for an absolute loop. I went into it happy and loving Hugh Jackman, and I came out of it depressed and fearing Hugh Jackman. Fearing and loathing his character, really, and unable to watch any other Jackman movies or listen to soundtracks he sings on for months and months because I was so upset by his character's descent into darkness, his willingness to embrace such horrific actions. It wasn't until just a couple years ago that I finally figured out why that film bothered me so much -- it's because I tend to identify with Hugh Jackman and the characters he plays, and so subconsciously, I was freaking out because I felt like, if a character he played was capable of such actions, maybe I was too.

    It's a powerful, well-crafted film, and I will never watch it again. But I'm glad other people can enjoy it, because it's got some really great things to say about obsession and boundary-pushing.

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    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean, Hamlette in regards to this films dark descent. I think this is indeed a terrifying film without being visually so - it's definitely more an emotional play. When I first saw it, I was a lot younger and I turned it off feeling depressed. It wasn't as bad this time through because I had a general idea of what the film was about (it's been so many years I'd forgotten much of it). Like you, I was curious about the film because of the cast. My mom and I re-watched it (for this review) and when we turned it off, she was SO ready to watch some fun chick flick, which we did. ;)

      There is something that keeps me inttuged by it (before you really KNOW the "catch" or "twist" of the story), but I was really disappointed in the main characters. They left personal feelings get in the way of their happiness and eventually, it destroyed both of them, one more than the other since it cost him his life.

      Well said. The Prestige is a powerful film; and I hope that it does offer insightful lessons for those of us willing to discover them. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! :)

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    2. A chick-flick chaser would be the best antidote, for sure. Possibly a Hugh Jackman romcom where he's not at all creepy, like Kate & Leopold or Someone Like You, huh?

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    3. Would you believe it if I told you I don't think I've seen either one of those romcoms!? I KNOW, right!? How can I call myself a romcom aficionado when I haven't even seen Hugh Jackman in a one!? ;)

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    4. Well, neither of them are like hugely big and popular movies, so I'm not surprised. I like Someone Like You best, but it does have a bit of content. Nothing explicit, but characters do sleep together. Kate & Leopold is pretty clean, but I don't love it as much. Hugh's wonderful in both, though!

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    5. Oddly enough I do own both of them! I'm pretty sure I found them in the "five-dollar bin" or something, saw they were romcoms, and snagged them (plus I hear people rave about Kate and Leopold's cuteness). I'm excited to watch both and am glad to know Someone Like You is fun too! Thanks so much, Rachel. I'll definitely be checking them out! :) :) :)

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