Friday, February 26, 2010

557 - You Aught to Know - The Prestige - #9

The Prestige, Christopher Nolan, 2006, 42 points

Watching The Prestige for the first time was, appropriately, electric. There’s a point in a truly great film where you remark to yourself how well you are enjoying the experience, and in disbelief, you notice that of all the celluloid dredge polluting the world, you have for once been privilege to savor an original, exemplary film. I felt that elation while watching the spoiled friendship turned rivalry between the two magicians in The Prestige. The anticipation built by the plot is like a great magic trick. It is inexplicable, yet possible. After all, it was just performed before your eyes. Once again, Nolan has delivered a tale that doesn’t fail to deliver with brilliant characters and dazzling situations.

I’ve performed sleight of hand magic tricks for a couple of years now. I enjoy practicing the dexterity of the feats, but there’s one reason above all I keep at it. Hugh Jackman’s character Robert Angier says it best, “You never understood, why we did this. The audience knows the truth: the world is simple. It's miserable, solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, then you can make them wonder, and then you... then you got to see something really special. You really don't know? It was... It was the look on their faces.” - Dustin Lilleskov

How better to showcase movie magic than a movie about magic? The grand reveals were flawless and the wrap up so profound that I could scarcely believe how things turned out when I saw it the first time around. A second viewing reveals what was missed the first time around, allowing a greater appreciation for the subtle details that are the crux of the plot's brilliance. Having recently seen Sherlock Holmes I found myself referencing The Prestige when giving examples of a great mystery with embedded clues that a truly on-the-ball audience member could work out. - Ryan Toppin

Next time on You Aught to Know: James Frazier

Take a look at the ongoing Muriel Awards over at Steve Carlson's blog: I've got a blurb there today.

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