The exaltation of the figure of Christian Bale as an interpreter has been very repeated without almost too much questioning, despite the fact that his habitual behaviors such as extreme changes in weight, obsession with the method or irrational behavior on sets would be very pointed out and even object of mockery in others – hello, Jared Leto -. He is one of those actors who it seems to have a papal bull even to be very old, and that it is perceived as another great work (El Roto has done it again).
This, of course, I do not want to be interpreted as ridiculous on my part of his figure and his work. In fact, I always have in high esteem for some of his great work, especially in “minor” works such as ‘Rescate at Dawn’ or ‘Public Enemies’. Also in other more popular works, such as ‘The Final Trick (The Prestige)’, perhaps his best collaboration with Christopher Nolan that can be seen on HBO Max.
Chris and his brother Jonathan Nolan took advantage of the ‘Batman Begins’ cache to get ahead a modest mid-budget project before changing superhero movies forever and put their careers at a point of no return. They returned to the idea of adapting the novel of the same name by Christopher Priest, put on hold with the post-production of ‘Insomnia’ and the subsequent commission of the Dark Knight.
Nolan takes on the Batman actor to play one of the two lead wizards, the other being played by Hugh Jackman. The film follows their intense rivalry, both obsessed with achieving fame and applause at a time when being a magician could guarantee you that. Their different characters favor a rivalry that will lead to launching twisted games through third parties or even putting themselves at risk.
The key to keeping this duel so intriguing is, in addition to a well-managed suspense and good character-building work, in a incredible game of smoke and mirrors made by Nolan. He had not yet reached his highest levels of visual spectacularity -here he still follows the worst vices of his first stage, with many simple close-ups in scenes that have no other purpose than to expose dialogue-, but he makes one of his most interesting scripts through of a well-measured structure.
‘The final trick (The prestige)’: abracadabra
But above all there is your intelligent use of what is shown and of using montage to narrate. Thus, the film is constantly pointing out to you an apparent turning point that you as a viewer are going to recognize and believe that you are far ahead of it. But it’s all a nice elaborate trick by Nolan so that, when what’s really behind the tape is revealed, it’s really powerful.
here the manager manages to perfectly emulate the magical profession he is relatingdirecting your gaze to another point and then really surprising when you see the whole trick.
Part of the success is also in an excellent cast, showcasing what may be Nolan’s best acting directing work. And it is difficult not to notice Bale, with a role as complicated as it is highly interesting, in which he delves into every possible aspect. It is one of the reasons why it is the film of his filmography -and that of the director- that grows over time and with repeated viewings. It is pure magic.