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Sunday, October 29, 2006 

The Prestige

    

   I went and saw "The Prestige" last night with a group of friends, and let me tell you, it was amazing.
*Note on the viewing environment: I watched the movie from the floor about 8 feet from the screen, laying back on two beanbag chairs, quite possibly the best way to watch a movie, ever.

   The movie centers around two magicians in late 1800's england, and their rivalry. Unfortunately, the plot includes so much surprise, so many twists, that I can't adequately describe it without ruining at least part of the movie. Allow me to quote the synopsis from RopeofSilicon.com:
   "A mysterious story of two magicians whose intense rivalry leads them on a life-long battle for supremacy -- full of obsession, deceit and jealousy with dangerous and deadly consequences. From the time that they first met as young magicians on the rise, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden were competitors. However, their friendly competition evolves into a bitter rivalry making them fierce enemies-for-life and consequently jeopardizing the lives of everyone around them. Set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century London."

   With that out of the way, let me get to the meat of my review. The leads are excellently acted by both Jackman and Bale, who brings a special gravitas to every role he touches. The supporting cast is similarly apt, though Caine seems to be marginalized in his role; And Johanssen is forced to devote a large part of her screen time to displaying her "assets" rather than her acting talents.
   The story is told in a disrupted timeline, but not a disjointed one a la Pulp Fiction or Memento. The device works to great effect, really drawing you in to trying to work out the plot ahead of time.
   And what a plot it is, the entire movie is one intrigue after another, the final half hour being expecially packed with twists.
   This is one of those rare cases where everything about a movie just clicks, making for a rich, layered experience I continued to enjoy even after exiting the theater, and into the next day.

I dislike scores, but, here, you monkeys.
10/10