Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Image via Wikipedia
2006, in theaters
You should know
One of my professors reviews independent films for Salon (Note: He didn’t write that review). He highly recommended this movie. Also, in class we had read an article about one of the actors, who is a magician himself.
I was in Philadelphia for the weekend, and saw this with Brian, Dan (who had seen it before), and a friend of Dan’s.
So very awesome. Dan said it was actually better the second time, when you know what’s coming. I would love to find out.
Oh, what can I say that won’t give anything away? I’m not even going to risk it. You can spend the whole movie trying to figure out what the twist is, like when you go to a Shyamalan film, but when we all compared the point where we figured it out, it was never before the third act – which, like the movie’s title and the third part of a magic trick, was “The Prestige.”
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, in other reviews, but a magic trick has three parts: The Pledge, where the magician (and the movie) makes a promise, The Turn, where something extraordinary happens, and The Prestige, which is the shocking conclusion. For example, most of the action in this movie rotates around a trick called “The Transported Man.” In The Pledge, we find out that the magician is going to teleport himself across the stage. In The Turn, he disappears. Finally, in The Prestige, he reappears. How’d he do that? “Watch closely,” we’re told.
See this film
People claim to have had it figured out as early as 20 minutes in. I’ve heard the same about The Sixth Sense, and when they tell me that, I say, “No one cares. The rest of us enjoyed the movie.”
It’s a movie about magic, people. Suspension of disbelief is part of the package in both movies and magic. Play your part, and you’ll find this movie very enjoyable.
And if you want to go see it a second time, let me know.
The rest of the Internet
The IMDb page.
The book on which the movie was based.
Great Ratings at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Wikipedia entries. WARNING: very spoilery!
There are two other 2006 movies about magic: Scoop and The Illusionist
Christa Banister reviews the movie from a Christian perspective at Crosswalk.com.
M. S. C. Thompson offers advice for people watching the movie for the second time. WARNING: extremely spoilery!
There was a Twilight Zone episode about a similar trick.
Jeff at MovieHawk reviews the film.
Buy the DVD.