it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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I'd beg for some forgiveness, but begging's not my business

ETA: there may be spoilers in comments. you have been warned.

I just got back from sneaking out to a matinee of The Prestige, which I'm not going to talk about much, because it's a chilly elaborate honest little machine of a caper movie, and no good ever comes of talking about those.

I have the caper movie knack, developed over years of study (I love them), so I don't judge them by whether they fool me. I judge them by whether they play fair, and by how sweetly and naturally they set things up.

This one works. It does it in part by maintaining a fairly tight point of view. It's also, in the end, one of those emotionally frustrating movies, but not in a bad way: it's frustrating because we are trained to expect a certain type of tidy narrative closure, and this movie--though there's a bit of a chipper resolution tacked on the end--denies that. I actually think it chickens out somewhat, because there's an emotional resolution that could have been earned, and isn't, and neither is the logical outcome of that emotional failure. She said vaguely.

So the machine of the plot works, and the characters I thought were very well done. They are all stupid obsessive bastards bent on destroying themselves and everyon around them, and there's a nice parallel drawn with a similar, historical rivalry (try not to get spoilered about that if you can help it, either. In fact, don't even look at the cast list.)

Anyway, I liked it a great deal despite what I saw as a failed emotional resolution. Cold and meticulous and full of really unpleasant people, but entertaining and smart and rather cool, and it gives you every tool you need to solve it along the way. I liked it far more than I liked The Illusionist, which I thought was a little on the over-simple side. Also, this movie has some thematic depth the other is lacking, even if it is laid on with a trowel.
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