The Illusionist (2006)


Everything you have seen here has been an illusion.

— Eisenheim

The Illusionist was unfortunate to come out at about the same time with Christopher Nolan’s magician film and was quickly buried for being a clone. I enjoyed this movie more than The Prestige.

During 19th century Vienna, a masterful magician named Eisenheim the Illusionist (Edward Norton) is wowing audiences every night with the tricks up his sleeve. One night, the wise beyond his years, Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) attends one of his performances.

Eisenheim wants a volunteer to demonstrate his trick about a mirror image and death. The prince volunteers a young woman, his fiancée Duchess Sophie (Jessica Biel). It turns that Eisenheim and Sophie were childhood lovers reunited.

When the trick is performed, the crown prince wants to know how the trick is performed. He wants to go to any lengths to try to expose Eisenheim as a fraud to disgrace him.

Complications arise when Eisenhiem and Sophie rekindle their love affair. What the lovers don’t know is that Sophie is always followed by Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) and the entire police department.

Prince Leopold’s jealousy over Eisenheim being his intellectual equal and the affair with his fiancée, tensions boil over in a big way.

This movie focuses more the magical, fantastical moments of magic. The look of the movie felt very reminiscent of film stock back in the dawn of cinema. Excellent flickering on the film.

I’m not saying that this movie was perfect. The story is basic to say the least. Some sequences dragged a bit too long for my taste. It doesn’t have a head-scratcher of an ending. It was nice.

Judgment: Get pass the contrive plot and enjoy the deeper meaning of this movie.

Rating ***1/2


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on August 31, 2009, in 2006, Academy Award Nominee, Drama, Mystery, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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