The Prestige

The Prestige ★★★

Watched this again yesterday for the first time in years, after being ultimately disappointed with Tenet and deciding that it might be worth reappraising some of Christopher Nolan's work.

I realise it's probably an unfashionable point of view, but when this film was first released, I preferred another film with quite similar themes that was also released that same year - The Illusionist. I plan to go back and revisit that one, too, as over the course of 15 years opinions and tastes can certainly change, but I have to say in regards to The Prestige my view of it has remained pretty much the same, with perhaps the only difference being that the central feud between the two magicians now feels even more petty and immature. I'll avoid spoilers here but of course the initial germ of their hatred for one another is understandable, yet as the film goes on it feels more and more unnecessary and futile, to the point that it's difficult to have sympathy for either man. It's not an essential requirement for a film to have a character to relate to, but in this case the lack of one left me with a level of detachment from proceedings. I observed the illusion but I can't say it left me feeling anything either way. In that sense I would conclude that the magic trick was missing the second of its three parts or acts, with the ordinary failing to be turned into something extraordinary.