In case you haven’t seen The Prestige allow me to save you the effort. After dealing with some aggro provided by the childish region coding of this legitimately purchased DVD (you don’t get all of that crap if you get a pirate copy) we settled down with a curry and watched the “epic”. It took me half an hour before I could distinguish between the two leading male actors and three leading female actors as they all looked identical. Well the blokes looked like each other and the womean look…you know what I meant. It’s like Hollywood has a production line that turns them out by the truckload.
In a nutshell, you can think of this as a remake of The Strike but with magicians instead of miners. Instead of Al Pacino playing Arthur “Scarface” Scargill they have David Bowie playing Nikola Tesla (seriously) and so forth. Despite the film being set in impoverished areas of Victorian London, the actors either speak with American or posh accents; it’s clear that Hollywood voice coaches still don’t understand about regional British accents. Still, as the fictional Hollywood producer in Strike observed:
“Nobody in Wyoming gives a god-damn shit about that.”
There were two exceptions to the accent rule:
- Michael Caine. He sounded like a pastiche of all his earlier roles. They even got him to say “you bloody fool!” Pity.
- The protagonist employed a mockney accent that made him sound like a poor ring-tone voice double for Ross Kemp. He also had a distinctly 21st century haircut.
Using some cutting-edge techniques in pretentious filmography they tell a ludicrous story with some skull-crackingly predictable plot-twists. Worse still, at one point there’s a dead bird involved, which was enough to immediately put Michele off. The suspense conjured by the plot wasn’t enough to make us abandon it in favour of the TISWAS nostalgiafest on ITV. Although, in fairness, not much would have kept me away from that.
The curry was good though.