Illusionist – Un-Biel-ievably Beautiful

For SI blog readers Nuttesh, VJCool & KD36939

Guess what the postman brought us today.

Yes, the fella delivered the seductive nymph Jessica of Biel fame. πŸ˜‰

Ah, if only. If only.

We got the DVD of the Oscar-nominated The Illusionist today.

Besides Jessica Biel, The Illusionist also features Ed Norton and Paul Giamatti in key roles.

It’s 9:47PM and we just finished watching this beautiful 110-minute film.

Not About Biel

Schmucks, the charm of this film is not in Jessica Biel, attractive though she is.

No, not at all.

But more in Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti and the alluring, ‘magical’ story that quickly draws you in its tight embrace.

Like The Prestige, Illusionist also has magic and love as its raisons d’Γͺtre.

But they are handled with greater elan better in the Illusionist.

Set in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century, Illusionist is the story of a magician Eisenheim (the grownup version is played by Ed Norton) who finds his childhood sweetheart the Duchess Sophie von Teschen (grownup version played by Jessica Biel) 15 years after they were forcibly separated.

As the two get close and discover that the passage of time has not diminished their old love, strong opposition comes in the form of the brutish Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), who’s all set to marry Sophie.

Can Eisenheim and Sophie outwit the prince and his henchman, the Police Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti)? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out the answer.

Adding to the charm of the gripping narrative is the vastly superior acting talent of Ed Norton.

Christian Bale (The Prestige) is a jackass in comparison. Just no match

Visual Feast

The sepia-toned photography in Illusionist is a visual feast immensely adding to the charm of this gem.

Whether it’s the indoor scenes in the palace or the auditorium or the outdoor scenes, the camera work is excellent.

Folks, The Prestige is no patch on The Illusionist, which is leagues ahead.

The final scene at the train station with the nervous old, bearded man climbing into the coach, Inspector Uhl in pursuit, the green train chugging out of the station and Uhl having a “Eureka” moment in which he unravels the plot while standing on the platform is one of those “We’ll always have Paris” events in movies. strongly recommends The Illusionist. I’ve watched this film twice and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

If you live in the U.S., you can rent The Illusionist from Netflix or maybe even your neighborhood Blockbuster (update: not any more since most if not all stores are closed).

5 Responses to "Illusionist – Un-Biel-ievably Beautiful"

  1. Mud Haliar   February 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

    The Prestige is no patch on The Illusionist, which is leagues ahead.

    Illusionist had lovable characters, while Prestige had filthy characters.. may have been the reason for us to have like the Illusionist better?!

    Watched Sachin 200.. amazing feat by a manboy who is almost 40 years old. Responds:

    Where do you watch the cricket matches?

    • Mud Haliar   February 24, 2010 at 8:58 am or I don’t use IE.. causes a lot of popups.. Chrome does a good job of keeping down the popups. Did you watch the Ind-Pak T20? That’s your first article in the “sports” category, I saw. Responds:

      You write: Did you watch the Ind-Pak T20?

      Maybe, a few minutes here and there.

      It would definitely be worth watching the Master blaster’s 200 in full.

  2. filumlover   February 26, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Really shocking, prestige is one of my favourite movies.. Illusionist was nice, but nowhere near prestige.. Atleast for me.. Responds:

    You’ve got to admit that Ed Norton is miles ahead of Christian Bale.

    • Twig   July 3, 2010 at 3:26 am

      Seen Illusionist today. The story was so predictable that I got bored.

      Any day, The Prestige is far far better than Illusionist for me.

      The only relief for me was Paul Giamatti (Inspector) for me. He was so natural and theatrical both at the same time.

      I should thank Illusionist for introducing me to Paul Giamatti. Responds:

      But Christian Bale (Prestige) is not in the league of Ed Norton or Paul Giamatti.

      • Nuttesh   July 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

        I had the exact same opinion about Illusionist as opposed to Prestige a few years back.

        But as I was introduced to better films, I realised that real beauty lies in the simplest of stuff!

        Prestige appeals only to people who want complex stories.

        The sheen is lost after a few viewings!

        Illusionist on the other hand simply showcases the scintillating art of story telling, in all its glory!

        The more the merrier!

        To me, it’s a classic!

        And yea, the inspector guy was wonderful! Blog Responds:

        Voila, my classy taste appears to be rubbing off on my readers!

        High time! πŸ˜‰

        Off-topic: Just back from Indian writer/film-maker Dinesh D’Souza junk documentary – America! πŸ™

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