Seriously. Queuing for food should only be reserved for torturous Siberian gulags and starving Dickensian orphanages. What can I say? I'm not made out to wait interminable centuries for my food, especially when I'm forking out good money for it. Give me more than a ten minute wait and I'm surely out of there. Unless they're giving it away free of charge, books and mags ( preferably with artistic male nudes ) are available for brief perusal and the chef resembles a hotter, steamier Dominic Lau, don't even think of making me stand in line even for the best chinese dumplings this side of the galaxy.
Blissfully fantasizing that the long holidays would mean empty coffeeshops in the city, that faint hope faded fast when we ( me and my desperately famished friends from work ) arrived only to find a literal river of humanity standing in line for a seat in the packed house. For a relatively seedy, crummy makeshift stall with a gruff less-than-charming proprietor who doesn't resemble Dominic in the least despite the tight singlet and vaguely amnesiac waiters who serve as they please rather than what's ordered, it's doing helluva well. Not sure what everyone else was doing there but obviously there are insane people who are willing to wake up in the wee hours of a morning and brave the crowds for breakfast.
Seems like the Chinese would do almost anything for a good bowl of pork noodles.
Fortunately the free movie later in the evening made up for the earlier morning wait. Eager to catch the latest screening, Big Bicep Barry had already purchased the movie tickets the night before - and since it's his first evening off in an age ( the man even had to slog today! ), I pledged to make it despite being more than a little groggy. But with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale coming along for the ride, how could I possibly refuse?
From the simple straightforward synopsis about the bitter enmity between two rival magicians in 19th century London, it would be easy enough to dismiss it as boring docu-drama but the Prestige turned out to be quite the enigmatic sleight of hand with each suspenseful moment adding another mind-boggling layer of complexity. Certainly getting curiouser and curiouser.
Seriously. Watch closely. Nothing is quite as it seems with these masters of illusion and trickery as they battle it out, stealing tricks and sabotaging each others' acts.
The fact that I found the characters surprisingly unpalatable would surprise those who have gotten a pretty accurate reading of my wickedness - but really, scrape a little deeper underneath the crusty layers of cynicism and you'll find a naive soul who actually believes that good triumphs over evil, that the meek shall inherit the earth. In this oddly amoral movie, none of the above actually happens. Not easy to root for either wayward, morally ambiguous magician since both are equally culpable in their manifold crimes that they commit to undermine the other in their mindless obsession.
Single-minded and calculating the characters may be but you just can't help but get absorbed into their spine-chilling madness - played to intense perfection by the two actors. And hell, if nothing else, you can ogle the two of them... as Shameless Shalom put it so succinctly, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. 'nuff said.