The Illusionist Reviews
P.S. Kiva että Teemu Selänne oli saanut roolin kruununprinssinä :D
Ed Norton's awesome. Seriously. Go watch Fight Club, or American History X to see what I'm talking about. He puts in another good performance here.
When watching this movie I couldn't help but compare it to the Prestige. It's a lot less stylish than its magical rival, and a lot less believable; not just in the tricks on show but in the motivations of some characters.
In The Prestige, there is genuine desperation on show; both magicians are devoting their lives to discovering how each others' tricks are achieved. In this, Paul Giamatti's investigator is the one assigned to uncover Eisenheim's secrets, but you can't tell he reeally wants to know, and the fact that the magic tricks are more preposterous than those seen in The Prestige, makes you wonder if it's even worth investigating.
The aim of the illusion is to make us believe something that shouldn't necessarily be believed. This film is an illusion in itself, crafting a mystery that we're not entirely aware is there in the first place. We get swerved, big style. It's not a shocking swerve by any means, but is a testament to the film and its themes.
The film is by no means a complete success but for the majority of it, say two thirds, it is a compelling tale. Eisenheim discovers that great power comes with a target on your back. The Prince discovers that with great power comes the vulnerability of theft. What follows is a battle for Jessica Biel, and we see how each man exercises their power, and who one ups the other. Frankly, if it's a battle for Jessica Biel, I'll quite gladly join in. I don't have a power, but I can probably muster up a DDT or two...
HERE BEGINNETH THE SPOILER:
There is one thing I didn't quite understand though...to anyone who has seen it:
Biel's character isn't actually dead, but Eisenheim lets everyone believe she was murdered, forcing the Prince (the accused) to shoot himself. Bit too far? Did Norton's character really need to let it lead to a suicide? This part kinda confuses me but if it is how I see it, then Eisenheim and his motivations suddenly seem a lot more sadistic.