Directed by : Neil Burger
One of the most attractive forms of art is magic - even it fascinates a rationalist not as a belief just as science. It's always better not to know the secrets behind them. It's like doing an autopsy to a fantastic IR song - better to let it be like that. I followed the entire series of David Blaine's program in AXN TV few years back and I became a fan of him. The main reason is his skills and he does that in street [ NY mostly ]. And of course, another great American illutionist is David Copperfield who makes the truck or any other big object to disappear in public.
Similarly there lived a person in 1900 in Vienna named Eisenheim, the illutionist.
In 1900s, a magician lived - Eisenheim using his supernatural n magical talents to entertain upper-class people. At teenage, he falls in love with an upperclass girl, Sophie. Their teenage romance break up and they depart, temporarily. He leaves Austria and travels all over as an explorer. After few years, they meet again in Vienna - he as a famous magician and she as an would-be princess. She is also engaged to the prince and of course, the prince doesn't like Eisenheim.
The prince tries to keep the magician away using the local police Walter Uhl. The inspector is an outsider in this story and the story is uncounted from his memories.And at the end, the film justifies the plot and the means.
The 2 great actors Edward Norton and Paul giletti have done a neat job in handling their roles. Paul's best comes in Cinderella man [ what a perfromance in such a great film ! ]. Edward Norton is also know for his wonderful work in The Painted veil and Fight club. In fact, the story unfolds in the eyes of the inspector Walter Uhl and then he has the mised sympathy and suspection on the illusionist. The climax is interesting and explained much with Paul's expressions [ resembled me old Sivaji Ganesan's acting with his facial expressions ] and it was a good one. Edward manages with his looks and unpredicted charactersization just apt for a mysterious illusionist.
Looks very much like a fairy tale, right ? yep. It was written as short story first and adapted to screen by Neil Burger. The tone of the film is so appealing that they take us the that period. Somehow, commonly they follow a light yellowish brown tone [ like in Hey Ram ! ] and an old technique called 'Autochrome' in filming. The same pattern might have seen in other movies like Sleepy hollow, Sweeney todd. Check Ayutha ezhuthu - the film is told in 3 different episodes with 3 different colours [ Red, Green and blue ! ]. The mood of the film and the selection of colours are really wonderful. The films gives a black n white feeling formed much with shades. Dick Pope has done the commendable job as cinematographer [ nominated for academy award too ! ]. He claims that most of the scenes were as real as possible with less CG involved.
The sound is also interesting and it is used perfectly; when the inspector talking to the prince in the field, where he hunts with loud gun shots. The heroine is more native and doesn't appeal as much as the hero n inspector roles. The good thing is that too see a 2 hrs script converted from a short story interestingly well. [ Memento is also made from a short story - another mysterious masterpice ].