In the end of the nineteenth century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough, and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death, and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the bullet-catching scene, Harry Dresden is on the list of performers under "The Professor". Dresden is a fictional wizard in "The Dresden Files", a series of books by Jim Butcher, and the basis of The Dresden Files (2007). See more »
When Angier and Root, both played by Hugh Jackman, are in a circular tracking shot together, Angier wobbles up and down slightly, revealing him to be the inserted visual effect. See more »
I won't say it's an underrated movie, but it has somewhat been buried by the legacy of other "popular" Nolan movies. With this movie, Nolan shows his ability to make a metacinematic film, yet again. This is obviously my most favorite Christopher Nolan movie, along with "Memento" (2000). Just like you can relate the theme of memories and interpretations shown in the story of "Memento" with the actual experience we had while watching the movie, we can relate the three acts of a magic trick narrated within the story with the movie itself. As the movie says, the final reveal in a magic trick is the most thrilling experience. So is that of this movie. In fact, the whole movie can be weirdly related to a magic trick. It is one of those movies which feel quite ordinary until a major twist makes it great. Speaking of the cinematic experience, it is a typical Nolan styled movie. It has broken timelines to enhance the storytelling, but unlike in most of his movies these are done more artistically than just for the thrilling reveal. This is perhaps the movie where Nolan's broken timelines have enhanced the storytelling in the most brilliant way. Like in most of movies, he dwells in a single theme - here it's obsession. The obsession of Robert Angier is what drives the plot of the movie, and is well established and doesn't even feel forced. There is a protagonist, and an antagonist in this movie. The character development is done so smoothly that we see the protagonist become an antagonist, while the antagonist remains somewhat the same. Though we don't get a full "interchange" between the antagonist and the protagonist, as the movie progresses, the protagonist feels more "wrong" than the antagonist. That's quite a difficult thing that it pulls off. Alfred Bordon is one of the most "complex" characters I have ever seen. He feels like some kind of a prick throughout the movie, and there are a lot of scenes to establish it for the viewers. That's until we get to know his character in the third act. It doesn't make him right for his wrong doings, but he gets the respect for his dedication as a magician. The whole Tesla plotline might feel like a convenient plot device, but Tesla is a scientist who is rumoured to travel through time. So, that is quite justifiable. Hugh Jackman has given a solid performance. This must go down as his best performances with those of "Prisoners" (2013) and "Logan" (2017). He is completely out of his public persona of Wolverine. He is the best possible choice for Wolverine imo, but reminder of Wolverine every time he appears on screen isn't so adorable. He didn't remind me of Wolverine at all, in this movie. But, the major highlight of the movie would be Christian Bale. He has given a terrific performance. You don't even get a hint at the complexity of the character he is portraying. It's after the reveal and in fact, in the second viewing that you start noticing the actual stuffs and the actual interpretations a particular scene is to be given. All in all, it's a fantastic movie. The way obsession play out to be the main theme, the way broken timelines are used for storytelling and the way the final twist is revealed - simply excellent. It gets a special "10/10" and an "A+".
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