I would have thought The Prestige would be more memorable than it turned out being. This isn’t due to it being hyped up or anything either. No, I went into this movie knowing nothing about it, except for its stars and director. The reason I thought it should be more memorable, was because of the fact that I really enjoyed watching it. Then, about 9 hours later, I struggled to even remember its name. I remember watching a movie, and I remembered that I enjoyed it, but it took a while until I got the title to that movie, and subsequently remember what it was about and why I enjoyed it.
See, I did enjoy it. A lot, in fact. It was suspenseful, the story was entertaining, and there were good actors playing interesting characters. There were many twists throughout, and, like a good majic trick, you’re never quite kept in the loop.
The film is about magic, or more so one magic trick in particular. This trick is called “The Transported Man”. The trick allows someone to teleport himself across the stage, something that would be impressive even if the film hadn’t taken place in the past. The plot mostly revolves around two men. One of which came up with the trick (Christian Bale), while the other one wishes to steal it (Hugh Jackman). That’s the simplist explanation one could give, because the story has enough twists in it to make it complicated to explain. It has many subplots that are explored, from Bale’s character’s relationships to finding out what Nikola Tesla (David Bowie) really did with his free time.
Oh yeah, did I not mention that Tesla is played by Bowie? Well, he is, and is almost unrecognizeable in the role. I’m not going to say that he did a great job, but he didn’t do poorly. Neither did any of the lead actors, with all of them playing their parts well. Surprisingly, Scarlett Johansson manages to pull off a British accent well, and Jackman does the same North American accent he’s done before in films like Van Helsing or the X-men films. Bale gets to use his native British accent for his role, something that is a nice change from the American accent he is often told to use.
I’m still not quite sure why The Prestige wasn’t that memorable a film for me. Maybe it’s because it threw so many plot points at me throughout its running time, or maybe life is just too busy in order to fully grasp and remember them all. Christopher Nolan’s films usually do have a lot of plot in them, often times not making sense until the end, and that is definitely the case here. I think that it would be more memorable on repeat viewings, as you will actually know what is going the entire time.
That’s the only real problem that The Prestige has. It’s story can get a little hard to follow at times. Now, can a film be criticised for something that it is trying to do? I believe it can, and am therefore going to do that. The Prestige tries hard to keep things from getting to complicated, but there are times, few and far between as they are, where it lost me a little bit. These times are few, and the film does manage to involve you again soon after, but at these points, the film is frustrating to watch. You realize that you are watching something good, but you aren’t being told what’s going on.
And yet, despite the story sometimes being too hard to follow, the film is still incredibly entertaining. There are too many things going in the film’s direction to have the story ruin the experience. Good acting, a decent direction and an interesting story manage to make The Prestige something that I plan on watching again fairly soon. Maybe it’ll be more memorable the second time along, I can only hope so anyway.