Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Illusionist (2006)





















Its funny, you don't see any films about magicians then all of a sudden two pop up in the same year, how does that work? We had the same deal with 'Dante's Peak' and 'Volcano' also 'Armageddon' and 'Deep Impact'...weird huh.

Anyhow this magic show is period set as is 'The Prestige' only this time we are in Vienna at the turn of the century. The plot is a mixture of a love story, a who dunnit? and magic all entwined within the rich lavish world of Austrian royalty.

The film simply popped up out of nowhere and my first impression was a cheap low budget equal to 'The Prestige' which was quite a big hit, I was amazed when it turned out to be such a rewarding film. The cast are all excellent here and fit beautifully into this decadent setting, Norton, Sewell, Giamatti, Biel and Marsan, all brilliant, what more can I say. I probably enjoyed Sewell as 'Prince Leopold' the most with his unhinged delicate state, jealousy and fury in his eyes as he loses the plot.

The plot is intriguing but does seem to do a 'Usual Suspects' spin towards the end, your average twist which you can sense was coming but fun to watch none the less. The film is a joy to watch simply down to the lovely work on sets, costumes, location and the magic tricks of which the main ones are assisted with CGI methinks which is a shame but still mysterious.

I guess the whole film or story is suppose to be one big magic trick or illusion really, one big puff of hocus pocus as the main lead wins the day and his love in a swirling mist of deception. Visually stunning, realistic? yes, not bad a tall...I can taste the strudel, superbly well performed and very enjoyable but maybe a little simpler than it was meant to be.


8/10