@Claec: Thanks for mentioning "Unzen"; I'll have to put it on my back burner of things to read sometime.
Have you read Endo Shusaku's The Samurai
? I myself haven't and have only heard secondhand that it is about a samurai who initially doesn't understand how Jesus, someone whom he sees as being weak and defeated, could be an object of worship or even respect, but his thinking changes later on. From the description I heard, I wonder if that one also is focused more on the Japanese side of things, but not having read it myself, I don't know.
And back to the topic of the movie, of course it is Hollywood, so it's not too surprising that there's a lot of focus on the handsome face of main character.
I was just grateful that the movie wasn't totally full of handsome and beautiful faces and that mostly the cast was full of a lot of ordinary people who weren't glamorized.
. . .The Prestige
. This was on my watch list because a friend of mine who is a huge movie buff considers it to be a significantly better film than Inception
, but to be honest, it really was not my cup of tea.
The plot was about two stage magicians who are continually trying to one-up each other. I can understand why my friend thought this movie was better and more complex than Inception,
with all its double-deceptions, but I would disagree with her because I have several problems with the plot:
SPOILER: Highlight text to read: why Angier's wife drowned after not being in the tank for extremely long, even though resuscitation of drowning people was a known thing during that era; the way that the fact that Borden turned out to have a twin was used to whitewash the grief he caused his wife by seeming to (or perhaps actually) having an affair with Olivia because "each one of us loved one of them"; how Borden could possibly have been convicted of Angier's murder if he was pounding on the glass and trying to get him out of the glass tank while he drowned (surely there were witnesses); that viewers are meant to be left with warm fuzzy feelings about Borden being reunited with his daughter at the end although in my opinion he was also a Not Very Good Person, not much better than Angiers, and did some fairly nasty things to his rival.
Other than that, it had an obviously "meant to be ambiguous and leave both possibilities open" ending just like Inception,
not surprising since they are both by the same director. I am okay with movies that portray atrocities or graphic violence if there is a serious purpose behind it, for example showing actual atrocities that really happened or happen in real life (like Silence or Romero), but to me this movie just came across as two people both doing horrible things to try to one-up each other, and the movie didn't seem to me to have a higher purpose to it, it was just a fictional story for the sake of entertainment, so my personal assessment of it is "a horrible story about horrible people doing horrible things," and I really did not enjoy it.
The plot twists and deceptions are, however, arguably more intricate than those in Inception, so people who like movies like that that make you think might enjoy it.