Victorian London, two rival magicians are locked in a continuing battle of wits, their aim? The ultimate magical illusion. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale star in director Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of author Christopher Priest’s best-selling novel.
Robert Angier (Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Bale) are two struggling magicians, trying to earn a living in the seedy entertainment venues of Victorian London. When debuts a seemingly impossible magic trick, it send his former friend Angier on an obsessive journey to discover the truth of the trick and to try and replicate it, at any cost.
I don’t know if this is true in real life however this film describes the stages of a magic trick beautifully with this three step guide; The pledge which is showing the audience something ordinary, The turn is making that ordinary prop do something extraordinary and finally the prestige which is bringing it back to normality. As the title suggests the film takes you through the stages until it finally presents you with the finale, the prestige.
Starting the film at a court hearing with the great Sir Michael Caine explaining the art of magic, the story flashes back to follow the journey of Robert Angier whose played by Hugh Jackman and Alfred Borden whose played by Christian Bale go from being magician assistants to renowned performers but it’s not an easy journey and the film concentrates a lot on what motivates us and the sacrifices we make to be the very best.
This film is certainly not light and bubbly, nor is it for the action packed explosion enthusiast. It’s an emotional thriller where we are asked how far are we willing to go to get what we want and how much we can lose ourselves in the pursuit. Throughout the film Robert and Alfred attack each other again and again, as they become more blind to the fact of what they are actually doing. The dark side of magic.
I really enjoyed this film I thought the characters were amazing, casting David Bowie as Tesla was genius. His character is a self aware damaged man who got lost to his own personal goals and knows that he cannot escape it, with such a short screen time he made a huge impact. There is also something about having a predominantly deep male voiced cast that makes the film all the more gritty which Christopher Nolan is obviously known for. Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall also deserve praise for their portrayal of woman who are caught in the crossfire.
I’m not going to lie I’m not a Christian Bale fan, I think every role he does is Batman voice. There is a scene in this film where he laughs and I really cringed up but I actually thought he portrayed his character well and I considered him to be very believable.
I found it really difficult to write this review due to the fact that there are so many plot twists and it’s such a fulfilling story that it’s hard not to talk about particular scenes or character developments, however I would happily say I enjoyed every minute of it and like all good thrillers you don’t really know what’s going on till the very end, each lifestyle choice had a consequence that shocked and enthralled which leads to the finale where you sit an watch the final breath being taken by one of the characters which lasts longer then an Alan Rickman death scene.
I would 100% recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a nitty gritty thriller.