The pledge, the turn, the prestige, the wait

The Prestige stars Christian Bale as The Great Soprendo and Hugh Jackman as Paul Daniels. Scarlett Johansson plays the lovely Debbie McGee, Michael Caine is Ali Bongo, Gollum plays Andy Serkis and David Bowie is Nikola Tesla.

One of those is true.

The “prestige” refers to the third part of a magic trick, the reveal. The first two parts are the pledge (the set-up) and the turn (the doing of the trick). Roughly. The “wait” in the subject above refers to the restaurant we went to after the film. Anyway.

It’s a film about magic, if you hadn’t guessed. My brother used to do magic; his favourite trick involved a set of invisible playing cards, but he lost them. Fact!

The film’s plot concerns a rivalry between The Great Soprendo and Paul Daniels, two up-and-coming magicians who disrupt each other’s shows, try to steal tricks, cause death and destruction, that sort of thing. They haven’t yet realised that all anyone apparently wants to see on a Saturday night is one of the many Simon Cowell clones telling hapless amateurs/celebrities to get out of his manor before he releases the hounds, or whatever it is that happens on X-Factor these days.

Points to note:

  • Some concentration is required, since the film darts back and forth between three different time periods without any wibbly-wobbly transitions, black-and-whiteness or captions.
  • Some of the lady acting is rubbish.
  • This is Michael Caine’s 4,905th consecutive film in which he plays a supporting role while retaining his own accent.
  • I can do a better “drunk posh toff” accent than Hugh Jackman. This is not, please note, because I am a posh toff.
  • Despite this being a Hollywood film primarily set in turn-of-the-twentieth-century England, Dick Van Dyke makes no appearance.
  • Please won’t someone think of the little birdies!

I enjoyed this film a lot, especially since I figured out what was going on half-way through. Like Memento, one of director Christopher Nolan’s previous films, a second viewing would no doubt bring several more a-ha! moments.

Avaragado’s rating: two mangoes

This week’s post-film food hunt took us to the Rice Boat on Newnham Road. Indian Kerala food.

Reviews had warned us that the food was good, the service not so good. And so it proved. Two bottles of wine stood unopened and undrunk on our table for nearly ten minutes due to an absence of wine glasses. The culprit seemed to be the dish-washer, since when glasses finally arrived they were hot to the touch. Call me old-fashioned, but a simple solution to this problem would be to buy more wine glasses. It’s a popular restaurant, after all.

They were slow in other respects too, and forgot a starter. It was a three-hour meal that really didn’t need to be that long. Food was good though.

Avaragado’s rating: tomato ketchup (possibly Heinz)


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