Romance isn’t the usual genre I’d go for, but a film with an illusionist, is a different story. Illusionists are always entertaining. Even, if I wasn’t into the whole cringey love movie thing, the promise of some mind-boggling illusions, was enough to convince me to watch this movie.
Set in Vienna, The illusionist is about a master illusionist/magician, Eisenheim. A young Eisenheim, falls in love, with a young noblewoman (Sophie). However, due to the rules of high society, their love is not allowed and the two are separated.
Years later, during one of Eisenheim illusionist shows, the two unexpectedly reunite. Unfortunately, Sophie is promised to the brute, Crown Prince Leopold. Known for his self-arrogance and heavy-handed way with women (in other words, he’s a pompous, cowardly, woman beating prick).
Now a grown woman, Sophie decides to leave the awful Leopold, for Eisenheim. Being the Crown Prince, Leopold is having none of it and sets in motion, a plan to get Eiseheim put in prison and out of the picture. Unknown to Leopold, The illusionist Eiseheim has his own plan, to help Sophie escape and start a life together. This leads to a series of unexpected, tragic and bewildering events.
I have to say; the illusionist was really well done. I can’t find much wrong with it. I really enjoyed it and I don’t even like romance movies. But to give a well-rounded review, I’ll talk about a few small flaws, this movie has.
One flaw being, that nothing really happens, in the first hour of the film. In the first hour, there’s a lot of character and plot building. They really only introduce the main characters and tell us a little about their background. This could be perceived as a bit boring, but is kind of necessary to the rest of the movie and without it, the film would be confusing.
Also, it’s a very male cast. There’s only, one female main character and some people mightn’t like this. I can kind of see why, because a female could have been, easily thrown in somewhere, to make it seem a bit fairer. However, being a romance, this movie is most likely aimed at women and the male cast, was probably for creep value.
The Illusionist strongest point is its storyline. Oh my glob, is it one hell of a storyline. So much plotting and scheming and unexpected turns. It’s so exciting and you’re constantly in suspense, about what’s going to happen next. At one point, there’s a three-way game of cat and mouse, between Leopold and Eisenheim, the police inspector and Eisenheim and between the police inspector and Leopold. Making for very interesting watching. There’s also, a massive twist, that’s so unseen and surprising. I never seen it coming.
The illusions, in the illusionist are very satisfying. They will definitely amaze you and leave in wonder. Although mostly camera tricks, they’re still very entertaining and unique. Eisenheim biggest illusion being at the end of this film, but I’ll not spoil for you. Instead I’ll mention his best illusion, his summoning spirits act. This is so creepy and well done. Obviously, the spirit, is added in after filming, but if you could pull of an act like that, it would be incredible.
The choice of actors in this movie, was so good. The man who played, the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), was just unbelievable. Just his look alone, screamed pompous arrogant prick. It was remarkable. The way he held himself, walked and talk was the epitome of over self-importance and over opinionated a-hole. It was so well done. He was by far, my favourite actor in this film. He even got the madness of the super-rich, down to a tee. At one point, he was in a field hunting invisible birds and rambling to himself. The other actors were also good, but didn’t hold a light to Rufus Sewell.
Overall, I really enjoyed the illusionist. It had mystery, excitement and an excellent storyline. It has a twist, that hits you in the face and makes your jaw drop off and the ending is incredible and so satisfying. Best of all, it’s not super lovey-dovey or in your face. If you’re looking for a romance, that’s not overwhelmingly soppy, I would highly recommend this film. Hell, if you’re just looking something interesting and exciting, I would also highly recommend the Illusionist.