By Jake “The Movie Guy” O’Bannon, Columnist
Last night at Faith and Film, we watched Christopher Nolan’s 2006 thriller “The Prestige.” I unfortunately was not able to make it to the event, but after years of missing opportunities to watch this film, I was not going to let another week go by without watching it. Needless to say, I do not know what was discussed last night, but I wanted to share my personal thoughts here.
I have this love/hate relationship with Christopher Nolan. I love him when he makes a movie, because everything he has directed has been incredible. For example: “Inception,” “Memento,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” But I also hate him when he makes a movie, because everything he has directed has been confusing. For example: “Inception,” “Memento,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Hate is obviously a strong word, because all three of the movies I just mentioned are favorites of mine. Sure, they may take a few watches to grasp everything involved, but Nolan’s movies are some of the most intricate, well-made I have ever seen. “The Prestige” is no exception.
In a review for USA Today, Claudia Puig said of “The Prestige,” it is “A visually stunning, startlingly clever sleight of hand that will have audiences pondering well after the lights go up.” Ms. Puig is right; this is a movie that stays with you well after the credits roll.
The movie tells the story of two magicians in late nineteenth century London named Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). The two begin their career working together, but eventually form a bitter rivalry due to serious, even fatal circumstances.
This review will be short and sweet, kind of like Stuart Little. (I have made some terrible jokes in my time reviewing movies for the ECHO, but I fully understand that was the worst one I’ve made). It will be short because I want to leave most of the interpretation up to you. That, and I do not want to give away the end of the film. But before I close I want to give you some material to think about.
This movie is a great image of what the sins of pride and revenge can do to a person. Based on the words of Christ himself at the Sermon on the Mount, we know that revenge is sinful and is not of the Lord. “The Prestige” is an example of what a thirst for revenge can do to someone’s mind. And as you will see when you watch the film, it is not a pretty picture.
So the next task is yours. Check this movie out and see what you think. And while you’re watching think about the lengths people will go to get what they want, as well as the people that are affected on the path to get there.
Can you tell that I’ve danced my way around a lot of details in this review? As I told you, I’ve done that in an effort to not give away any secrets from a movie that’s all about secrets. I’ve also done it because it is a movie that needs interpretation, and I want you to make those for yourself first.
The only requirement: after you make your interpretations, I want to hear them. Talk to you soon.