6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Illusionist [DVD] (DVD)
I must begin by stating that I think this film is astonishing, hence 5 stars ( and had there been more stars to give, I would have given them ).
Often compared to 'The Prestige' which was released at the same time, it is, by far, more subtle, more challenging, and far more radical. I liked 'The Prestige' immensely, and have watched both films many times, but, for me, 'The Illusionist' eclipses the former.
I'm going to be honest. The reason why 'The Illusionist' is a 'different' ( not 'better', just 'different' ) film is that, even after many viewings, I still am not - and never will be - decided about the denouement...and that alone is cause for intrigue. Did the intelligent but unintuitive Inspector Uhl ( Giamatti ) really get it right, or is the ending just his own fantasy, his own 'take' based on his intellectual snobbery and need to crack codes? His hobby is discovering the secrets of magical tricks and 'illusions' - he is a realist, living in a time when every scientific experiment caused a frisson of excitement, when science was in the ascendent, and spiritual and religious 'belief' were in decline. Uhl would never believe in anything other than the purely practical, in anything that he could not touch. Uhl is the key to the plot. And Giamatti does it very well indeed. For my money, HE is the 'illusionist', deluding us all. Perhaps he has tricked every one of us. It is, after all, his story, told from his perspective. And what if he has got it wrong?
So.... did Eisenheim truly create the 'magical' disappearance of his great love, whisk her away to a secret location, spend time and money deliberating on a convoluted and very public method to bring her supposed killer to justice and thus drive the man to suicide ( for a murder he did not commit ), before joining his love in an idyllic happy ever after, brushing horses in fields of ripe corn and golden sunshine? Or...was Eisenheim's illusion a truth? He 'brought her back' 'just to be with her'...the carpenter's son ( surely no mistake, making Eisenheim the son of a carpenter? ) did, after all, have a precedent in the life-after-death stakes.
Watch it again. Watch it, very, very carefully. And THEN work it out...if you like, if you can...
And please let me know - it's driving me mad!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Feb 2013 09:30:40 GMT
Ms. J. G. Millard says:
Sad to find a review that reveals the whole plot. Just hope nobody reads it who hasn't seen the film, or it has been spolied for them.
Posted on 5 Jan 2014 20:22:39 GMT
B. Scott says:
Hope it hasn't been 'spolied' for anyone!
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