Monday, August 21, 2006

The Illusionist

Magic goes to Hollywood this year. There are 3 movies that deal with magicians: Woody Allen's Scoop (out already), The Prestige (out Oct 11) and The Illusionist (below).

Everything you have seen is an illusion...

The movie was excellent. It is set in 19th century Vienna, with Edward Norton giving a great performance as Eisenheim the magician, along with Paul Giamatti (who should win an oscar soon enough for his performances). I don't want to reveal information about the plot, but it mostly makes sense until the very end. I loved the photography where it looks like a worn off film from that time.

Although most of the tricks are CG, I am still wondering on whether there is some truth to them. Is this how the tricks at the time were performed? Or was did he truly possesed supernatural powers? The movie doesn't answer that clearly, but my answer would be yes.

The Prestige deals with with matter directly: 2 competing magicians, one of which seems to be using real magic rather than tricks to perform, and the other trying to figure out what happens.

The Illusionist is not an action film. It has good story, great environment, excellent characters. We don't see movies like that very often lately.