Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Andy Serkis, David Bowie
Are you watching closely? Ok good, I am now going to attempt to write a completely spoiler-free review for the Christopher Nolan classic The Prestige.
This film has existed for 10 years and in these 10 years I have not had the twist ending ruined for me, so I’m not about to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it and would like to. There are hopefully some people who haven’t seen it, so I won’t feel entirely bad that it has taken me this long to watch it. Once again, it was my brother Matt who was utterly disgusted that I had not seen this film, so it was an easy one to choose for this feature!
Wow. I mean seriously wow. I tweeted my excitement about watching this film beforehand and every single person who replied to me said I would love it, and what an amazing film it was. They were not wrong.
As soon as I finished watching it, I knew this would be a film which stayed with me for a really long time, and one which I would immediately want to watch again in order to appreciate it fully.
Knowing that it’s a Nolan film I was expecting to be mentally challenged, and for the ending to have a great surprise twist. I was pleasantly surprised not just by how expertly the twist was executed, but how easy it was to get it. After watching Interstellar I spent hours reading theories and explanations about the ending, and still came away with more questions than I had when I started. I had a couple of quick clarifications after The Prestige, but for Nolan, it is definitely one of the more accessible of his films.
So the plot (without giving too much away); Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play rival stage magicians who are constantly fighting with each other in a thrilling battle of one-upmanship in order to create the ultimate trick. This might not sound like the most thrilling narrative for a film, but trust me there is so much more to it than that. Mirroring the spectacle of a magic show, this film is in itself a brilliant illusion, revealing in its final act the secrets that have been gradually unfurling as the film progresses. Some may see the twist coming, but I guarantee that even if you see one of the twists coming, there will still be something that surprises you, and fully warrants a second viewing just so you can make sure it wasn’t all a complete trick!
The entire cast are great, with Bale and Scarlett Johansson in particular pulling off very convincing English accents. Nolan staple, Michael Caine is also excellent in his supporting role.
I’d love to delve so much deeper into this film, but I promised it would be spoiler-free! All I will say is this film is life-changing, mind-blowing stuff. Seriously. If you haven’t seen this film then make sure you do straightaway! If you’ve seen it before then watch it again, because it’s too brilliant not to watch over and over. Now I’m off to watch it for a second time…very closely!
Why not get in touch and let me know your favourite film? If it is one I haven’t watched before, I will add it to my list! 🙂
Next month I’ll be watching another film which I’ve never seen before, Donnie Darko.
I must admit, The Prestige isn’t a film I particularly like or enjoyed, although your review was certainly interesting!
Thank you 🙂 that’s ok, not everyone will agree all the time. Why didn’t you like it?
Personally I found it a little self indulgent, but then again that is something I tend to find with Nolan’s films.
Fair enough, I think it’s my fave Nolan I’ve seen so far 🙂
This was a smartly made movie and one of Nolan’s best. I also loved David Bowie’s (RIP) appearance in this film.
I watched it just last night again and it’s working it’s way up in my favourite films. Bowie definitely a highlight!