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Film Viewers Commentary The game for the young Film News And Views - Film Viewers Commentary - The game for the young Film Viewers Commentary,,The game for the young,recommendation,shopping,advice,simple,movies,films,film news and views,news and views,film industy,movie reviews,film news,film,news,views,television,made for tv movies,interactive entertainment,hollywood,hollywood news,celebrity news,insiders perspective,film reviewer,watch film,film trailer,new releases,new release,new release movie,new release film,movie reviewer,opinion,viewpoint,forum,discussion
The game for the young

Oct 22, 2006

Before Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) travels to Colorado to find scientist Nikola Tesla (David Bowie), Cutter (Michael Caine), magician mentor, tells Angier, "Obsession is the game of young men…" In Director and Writer Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" obsession spirals into deadly rivalry. The Prestige refers to the Third Act of a magic trick. In Act One: The Pledge shows the ordinary. In Act Two: The Turn, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. In Act Three: The Prestige, the twist occurs and we see something shocking. Writers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan's "The Prestige", based on Christopher Priest's novel, embodies these three acts. The third act of "The Prestige" is a shocking surprise. While watching "The Prestige" I guessed half of the twist, but not everything, and was completely mesmerized by the end. "The Prestige" starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale is an engrossing dark tale of revenge that is one of the year's best.

I had read that Priest's novel had an innovative narrative style where the story is retold by the rival magicians Angier and Borden, wherein the truth is revealed. Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan unveil a captivating yarn through exchanged diaries—see the movie. We are clued in from the on set, when Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) instructs us, "Watch closely…" In the beginning Angier (Jackman) and Borden (Bale) are young magicians under the tutelage of Cutter (Caine). Angier's beautiful wife Julia (Piper Perabo) is a magician's assistant. However, in a magic trick turned fatal, Angier and Borden transform into enemies obsessed with revenge. Their obsession escalates into apparent murder. "The Prestige" perfectly casts with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. Jackman and Bale are among the screen's most powerful actors. It is interesting and not coincidence that Jackman and Bale have achieved acclaims playing superheroes: Jackman as Wolverine in the "X-Men" movies; Bale as Batman in "Batman Begins". However, there are no heroes in "The Prestige". Director Nolan brilliantly leverages their contrasting styles and intensity. Tony Winner Jackman plays the brilliant showman Angier, who is talented, but smart enough to sense that Borden may be the more gifted magician. His hatred for Borden is boundless, even dismissing his assistant and lover Olivia (very good Scarlett Johansson) to discover Borden's secrets. Borden (Bale) is the brooding pure student of magic—he has the eye. Borden marries Sarah (Rebecca Hall), and they eventually have a daughter Jess (cute Sammantha Mahurin). However, good woman Sarah suffers in the relationship of secrets. Borden becomes a star with his "Transported Man" trick. The jealous Angier believes that Borden is performing true magic. After several twists and turns, Angier is convinced that his own quest for 'true magic' lies with Nikola Tesla (Bowie), the Father of Magnetism. The true magic he seeks is apparently, science.

Christopher Nolan ("Memento", "Batman Begins") infuses a sense of wonder and tragedy in his dark tale. Ultimately, his "The Prestige" is about the cost of losing one's soul on the path of vengeance and fame. Hugh Jackman is simply powerful. As Angier he is a man whose life takes a dark turn, and becomes obsessed discarding almost all of his humanity. Jackman's intensity and vulnerability make Angier's quest sympathetic, but never enrolling. Jackman is masterful and charismatic in this balancing act. He has a commanding presence and voice. His performance is Oscar worthy. Equally powerful is Christian Bale as the conversely internalized Borden. His Borden is the consummate magician, always creating. Bale's intense understated performance hints at the anger and drive just below the surface. Jackman and Bale have an amazing screen partnership that is a paradox of styles. The scenes where both discover that they have been betrayed are stunning. Michael Caine is awesome as usual. Here he wonderfully floats between the two leads. His final alliance is a complete surprise. David Bowie is absolutely great as Nikola Tesla, a completely original character.

Nolan's "The Prestige" is an unsettling tale of revenge and deadly rivalry. Nolan navigates many twists and turns arriving upon an electrifying surprise in this story of all consuming obsession. Jackman and Bale each give their best performance in Nolan's parable of forfeited souls. "The Prestige" is one of the year's best movies.
  July 16, 2019

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