Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The Prestige

I went to see The Prestige last night. I usually go to the cinema on the outskirts of the city, but the Prestige was only showing in the city centre. The cinema was full of kids who had no idea at all how to behave, poor things. They were just talking into their mobile phones (admittedly in whispers) and running up and down and kicking the seats and stuff. It was remarkable. My son was all 'don't get mad' but I wasn't annoyed, just surprised. Also there was an advert for the new Inarritu film 'Babel' and the kids behind me were all 'B-A-B-E-L? What does that mean? Babble?' And it struck me that people who have never heard of Bible stories are almost as benighted as people who believe them.

But enough whining about modern culture. I expected to like this film and I liked it. It only got two stars in the Guardian, but I think that's because Peter Bradshaw doesn't get genre conventions. I wouldn't say everyone would like it: it was way over the heads of the teenage audience, and a more sophisticated audience might criticise the emotional pacing.

Comparing it to the novel, the action and the intellectual structure are much more in your face. I mean, intellectual structure is what Christopher Nolan does, and almost every event in the film is a foreshadow or a reflection. In this respect he has found the perfect foil in Christopher Priest who is big on reflection and illusion. Nolan has altered the plot to hide more, and tighten up the structure. Although I know the book, there was plenty in the film that surprised me, with those 'I get it' moments.

The rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla was about the rivalry between AC and DC. I would say that in this reflection of that rivalry Christian Bale - fantastic acting as always - is Alternating, and Hugh Jackman is Direct. There is no sexual frisson however to complete this circuit. Michael Caine is good as he can be if he tries. David Bowie was interesting as Tesla. Good casting, strange performance.
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