Monday, October 23, 2006

Prestige Doesn't Pay Off

I think The Prestige was a disappointment. I'm qualifying myself here on the off-chance that the film might actually be brilliant, and I just missed it. But I don't think so.

I think it ended up wanting to be much more clever than it really was.

Which is unfortunate, because it had a very nice message about not letting revenge and obsession become, well, vengeful obsessions.

But they had set up so long the idea of "THE PRESTIGE!" that they kind of had to have a big whammy of a finish. But I don't think they really did. Or, at least, I sat there in the last shot not sure of what just happened, and frustrated by Michael Caine's strong Cockney accent that garbled the last word of the film which might have been key.

But, I guess I'll never know.

The film's other main twist - I mean the one that comes before the last frame twist that might not really be a twist not sure I'll ever know - is really kind of pathetic as it is broadcast all throughout the film.

And were they asking us to believe that science can really do what they seem to say it can in the film? I didn't get that either.

The film has a couple of vioolent moments. It's really not scary. Teenagers can see it without harm. As long as they don't become overly frustrated by movies that are too clever by half.

Sometimes too clever is really just that. Not much fun.

If anybody can explain the ending to me here, I would be obliged.

4 comments:

Cher said...

I thought it was a brilliant film, worthy of Christopher Nolan. I'm not sure that the "twist" was meant to be so much of an "aha!" moment a la The Sixth Sense, as it was meant to confirm Borden's obsession. It was a twist (and possibly twisted), but not a surprise ending. It's also possible that what one person would call broadcasting through the film, another person would call foreshadowing. For me, the brilliance came in the scene with the Chinaman, and we learn what sacrifices are made to perform great illusions.

As far as the science, yes, that is what they're asking us to believe. And that has staggering implications, particularly when Angier takes the steps he takes. In the end, we end up asking ourselves who is the bad guy and who is the good one. We've assumed that we've known all along, and yet we now have to question that we might be wrong.

I would love to discuss further if you want to email me. Trying not to spoil the movie makes it difficult to discuss! Feel free to email cher@theculturebeat.com.

Anonymous said...

"And were they asking us to believe that science can really do what they seem to say it can in the film? I didn't get that either."

SciFi and its relatives are called "speculative fiction" for a reason-a look at the consequences of something that can't happen or seems unlikely to happen, *as if* it could happen, for the purposes of story-telling. I know you've seen Groundhog Day, so this shouldn't be an alien concept to you.


Besides, anybody who knows anything about the urban legends and conspiracy theories surrounding Nikolai Tesla would take his introduction into the plot as the equivalent of Merlin showing up in this kind of story-short hand for the leads meeting a "real magician".

-derringdo.

Anonymous said...

You may also want to consider the fact that the very things shown in the movie (wireless electricity, theories on teleportation) were in fact commented on, fiddled with, experimented on, and theorized about by the real Nikolai Tesla. In the real world he THOUGHT about the principles of teleportation, in the movie he built a machine.
Given the crazy amount of plot twists and such in this movie, is that really such a leap of the imagination?

debbyz72 said...

First I must apologiese. I'm not one to keep up to date on movie's. I'm more of an internet buff.
I was a little confused about the title. Is it call Prestige or Church of the Masses? Is it online only or is it out in theaters. If it's anything like or similar to The Sixth Sense you've caught my interest. How can I view this movie?
debbyz72@yahoo.com