Posted on 10/31/06 09:55 PM
The Prestige (Spoilers!)
I would like to think Christopher Nolan is a talented director. He loves the complex story and he certainly loves a good twist. With The Prestige he may have taken things a bit too far. The final twist should be an interesting revelation, but it comes off as bland and unbelievable. "Of course it's unbelievable! Magic isn't real!" you say. Indeed.
The film spends almost the entire length of the movie trying to convince us that Alfred(Bale) is performing real magic. Cutter even says as much. Alfred has a companion named Alley(clever!) who we just happen to barely ever see. When we do see him his face is shrowded in shadows and he mumbles his dialogue if he even has any. The "twist"? They're really twins! Oh my god, who would've guessed. If you pay attention at all during the movie you can figure that out way before it's revealed even if you aren't trying to.
Since we can figure out Alfred's trick before Robert can we lose the mystique that the film had when we weren't sure if he could perform magic or not. When Robert gets a machine that can actually do magic(kinda) it comes off as unbelievable; almost silly in a way. Also, these have to be some of the most ruthless and flawed characters in film in a while. Alfred let's his brother rot in jail while he is free to roam and is still lying to Alfred's wife about himself. Robert kills "himself" over and over just to prove that he is better than Alfred.
Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe Alley was a clone of Alfred. That would sort of make sense. Scarlett Johansson is hot. She adds pretty much nothing to the story except cleavage. I hope Nolan isn't becoming a gimmick director; relying on his twists and staggered plot-line to make a more complex film. This certainly is a good film. I had the choice of seeing this or Saw 3; of which I instantly chose Prestige. There is some great cinematography and quality acting. I loved seeing how they explained and performed the magic tricks. So there are some redeeming qualities to the movie, but as a story it's quite iffy.