Dir: Christopher Nolan
Star: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine
Despite being suitably impressed by Batman Begins and enjoying Mr Nolan’s debut picture Momento, it took Smaltzy ages to see The Prestige. Not too long ago Narry recommended this to me and bang next thing you know darling Helga has borrowed it of her brother Kristof.
The prestige is the third act of an illusion, the bit that makes you go ‘how did they do that?’, much like my pants atop nelson’s Column. Right let’s get down to the beef. Two magicians become bitter rivals through tragic circumstances. Fortunately for us they are splendid actors and make the film uncomfortably engaging.
What helps its edge is Nolan’s signature blockbuster yet still indie style. In fact considering its start studded appearance it’s all rather old fashioned in a good way. However there are some issues that perhaps come down to Smaltz being a bit of a softy more than anything else.
Despite clearly being made by a lot of the same people as Batman Begins (visually it looks very similar) it doesn’t have the same warmth. In fact there’s something of a nasty edge for the first hour. This subtly changes to wonder and excitement in the second half, but still makes for slightly too intense viewing overall.
What’s more I’m not convinced the films prestige matches it’s build up, indeed Helga and Kristof worked it out in the first twentie minutes. Smaltz, not being the sharpest sickle on the flag, had no idea what was going, and to be honest that helps when enjoying stories.
These problems don’t stop it being a very well made film that is well worth watching. A second viewing may reveal it to be something nearer a classic. As it stands, however, it is as the French say, Bond, tres’ Bond.