Monday, January 01, 2007

The Prestige (2006, Christopher Nolan)

(originally written for The Onion AV Club's end-of-2006 poll)

All of the great movies hold up to multiple viewings, but Christopher Nolan’s THE PRESTIGE practically demands it. In fact, watching the film twice is like watching one performance each by its two principal characters. The first viewing is like an Angier performance- you groove on the showmanship and the presentation, but you’re not sure how much substance is there. The second viewing, however, is pure Borden, in which you really see how intricate and thought-out the film is, which of course makes it all the more entertaining. In the end, THE PRESTIGE deals with men who would sacrifice everything (love, body parts, even their lives) for their passions, and more than that, the fallout that occurs when two of these men are at odds with each other- not just Borden vs. Angier, but also Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison. Plus it’s just a ripping yarn with the cleverest screenplay to come along since Nolan’s breakout film, MEMENTO. For my money, THE PRESTIGE is even better.

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