The illusion and awe of magic has always left me bewildered. The thought of, “How did the magician do that?” or “I can’t believe it but just saw it!” leaves a person dumbfounded as they have no clue as to what happened. This film is a wonderful tribute to magic as well as many other aspects of the late 1800s. The Victorian style is amazing. The story will confuse you and make your mind try to put together a mysterious puzzle as you watch.
I have seen it two times in six years now. The two magicians being once friends but torn to be enemies by a magic trick turned fatal was classic. To see them go back and forth by all means of trickery was very entertaining. In a film which I can find nothing to harp on speaks volumes. Hugh Jackman, who plays Robert Angier, goes against Christian Bale, who plays Alfred Broden, basically nonstop in some manner or another. The tipping point for Robert is the trick called the transported man that Alfred performs. He has no idea as to how it’s done. Cutter (Michael Caine) is the mentor to the magicians and to who Robert clings to for his career in most senses. Cutter decides to convince Robert to forget how the trick is done and come up with your own dazzling magic show to offset Alfred’s. It’s not a bad idea considering Robert doesn’t seem the type to be able to figure it out anyway. The truth is that Alfred has a twin brother that actual shares his life with him. How bizarre is that? Every detail of Alfred’s life is shared with another man. It gets confusing and even a bit painful when Alfred gets his finger blown off by a gunshot forcing the brother to cut off his as well. It’s really exciting watching to see what each one will do to the other to get revenge.
David Bowie is in the movie as Tesla. I will let you know I’m not a fan of him but his performance was very convincing to me. He is approached by Robert to turn his “Tesla” electricity into a magic show he can use to be the next big trick. Scarlett Johanson, who plays Olivia Wenscombe, does impress me by how well she played her role. I’ll admit I’m not a fan in particular so that was a pleasant surprise for me. She is the assistant to Robert that ends up playing both magicians to add to the already confusing plot of things.
It is a twisting story but the beauty is how it wraps up in the end so at least you understand after your finished watching. Christian Bale turns in the best performance I’ve ever seen him do. I was astonished he had it in him to be honest. It makes the film that much more enjoyable. Hugh Jackman does well as he seemed a perfect fit for the character he played. The man you seem to root for but find out neither of them should be cheered on. Michael Caine seems to be at that stage in his career where he can turn in a very solid performance at any given chance. I liked it very much and justly would prefer to give the compliments while I can.
Christopher Nolan did a perfect job bringing the novel to life.
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