I really enjoyed this movie. It showed all of the overt magic and illusion which we would associate with stage magery albeit with the benefit of camera tricks to make them seem all the more unreal.
Edward Norton plays the title role of ‘Eisenheim the Illusionist’, a cabinet-makers son who falls in love with a Duchess. There’s also a nastybad Crown Prince and a moral but compromised man in the middle. If I were a cynic I could say that you should watch The Princess Bride and get the same kind of plot with even more laughs but I was sufficiently immersed in the film that it dealt me a plot twist or two and that made it even more fun. Rufus Sewell plays the villain as he does so well and Paul Giamatti the protagonist of the tale as the unsure-of-himself Inspector Uhl.
This film, and The Prestige (which I have not yet seen), makes me want to work on Qabal even more though it’s apparent that Qabal is a different beast altogether. I’ve therefore resolved to use the “Feits and Tricks” rules from Qabal to have a go at emulating the feel of these movies. I think it could be a lot of fun.
The Illusionist had me thinking that Eisenheim was the villain of the piece at the start but halfway through I was enraptured. And by the end I was cheering, actually cheering. I may have disturbed other viewers in fact. It twists from a romance, to a thriller to a revenge story and back.
I’d better get my finger out, eh?