Saturday, June 16, 2007

Movie Review - The Prestige

Whodunits. I grew up on Agatha Christie books. Do you know what is nice abotu those books? No... it is not just the intricate murder mysteries, but it is that AC was smart enough to respect your intelligence to embed a few clues, subtle, and then when the truth is revealed you could always go back and look up those clues. The 'clue' would then make total sense. Apart from Roger Ackroyd, there is no book of AC that I have read that does not have similar small clues that make sense to teh final result.

I will go back to Sixth Sense. That seemingly disconnected scene where Bruce WIllis goes and meets his wife on their anniversary holds such a lot of meaning to the final result. The wife leaves with a sigh, hardly having acknowledged the presence of Willis. Small hint, excellent lead... and it takes a sharp mind to understand it, and relate it.

The Prestige comes close, but is not quite there. This movie has similar leads to the final result. Not one, not two but quite a few since there are so many characters involved, and every one of those hints has an effect on the final revelation... called the "Prestige". The crib about this movie begins with the opening line. "Look closely or you might miss something".. or words to that effect. Teh crib is that you really do not have to look closely. Some of the revelations are so obvious that you have a higer chance of missing a ketchup stain on your paper resume. Some are not quite so obvious but yet, since you already know certain revelations, you put it together. In the end all the leads were guessable. Gives some people satisfaction. I was one among those satisfied.

The Prestige is one more genuinely good effort from Nolan. I have not been disappointed by any of his works so far. Bale as usual excels, being the really cold and calculating magician who is at war against Hugh Jackman, another magician. Jackman... does not have too much scope and is adequate. Michael Caine seems to be present in every role that requires an aged guy speaking in a British accent. He is the most sought after butler in Hollywood circles.

Comparing The Illusionist and The Prestige... ? I do not want to carp on it, but The Prestige is by far the better and more mature movie, because of the Agatha Christie explanation. The Prestige seemed better planned and more honest, while the Illusionist relied on keeping information from the viewer in order to effect the final surprise. The only cheat in this movie was the pseudo science, which if treated as just a black box... and not dissected too much, adds strength to the story.

I would recommend the Prestige over the Illusionist any day.


g3p said...

yay! i told ya..Pretige s bettr dan Illusionist!

Anonymous said...

i totally agree; i saw the two movies within a month of each other and felt the exact same way..nolan is very good da..btw have you seen the queen?

Escape.... Great Escape said...

g3p. I agree. And it is not only because of Christian Bale.

CD, No.. now that you suggest it.. would be on my queue... Will be meeting Sundar today.. if work does not get in the way...

pavan kumar said...

glad you liked Prestige, did you watch The Skeleton Key? though dragging in the starting, the movie was good (esp the ending)

Escape.... Great Escape said...

Yes I have watched the skeleton key.. . I liked it a lot.. though I would not compare it with The Prestige.

I am watching The Queen now... will be writing a review on it. I like the movie.