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Interesting – I had read a review about the film before I watched it, but had practically no idea what it would be about, aprt from it being about two rivalling illusionists. So I had an almost ideal setting and could allow myself to get surprised by just about everything I encountered: the plot twists (many, may too many) or cast: it took me 100 minutes to recognize the guy from “American Psycho” (Christian Bale) – but then it came to me with a vengeance, when he started acting like one, psycho, I mean. I admit that I could not quite grab from where and whence I knew this untalented actor who played Nikola Tesla. And in a setting where three time levels are intertwined and the protagonists make a living out of appearing not to be what (or where) they are, it took me some time to distinguish all these people and their respective social environment.

After I got around these troubles (which have a lot to do with me being utterly unable to remember actors’ faces if I don’t know them for years – I might recognize Robert de Niro and Meryl Streep on the street, might…) the film started to entertain me. It did that for half an hour, then I started wondering why the script did not decide on a direction to go, and I started to get a little bit bored. And then the finale came about and I am not lying when I say that I was sitting there with my mouth open (is “gawping” the correct term?), frewuently uttering those little crazy bursts of laughter that declare incredulity and disbelief, but also blessed satisfaction about what films still can do. Surprise you and stun you, in this case. I would never have thought that this film would take the direction it did, and indeed one needs to ask the question of whether the one element of “true magic” that happens in the film is not endagering the whole construction of these illusionsists fighting their eternal, but still human battle. There is a moment when I thought “oh no, you must be kidding” and almost lost all sympathy – but then the film takes this one element seriously, works with it results in a truely hilarious resolution. What a showdown!

Interesting side”fact / opinion”: All the film’s females are irrelevant or annoying. The director is a magician in his own right (Christopher Nolan)

BBC 5live Audion Review: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/fivelive_aod.shtml?fivelive/kermode101106
Movie Maze (German): http://www.moviemaze.de/filme/1612/the-prestige.html
http://movies2.nytimes.com/2006/10/20/movies/20pres.html

http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/review/3555

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