The Prestige Movie Poster and Memorabilia

 

 

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The Prestige by David Julyan


The Prestige Widescreen DVD
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prestige (Soundtrack) by David Julyan

The Prestige
Composed by David Julyan
Hollywood Records

Rating: 5/10

Buy The Prestige by David Julyan  from Amazon.com

 

Listen to this soundclip of The PrestigeAre You Watching Closely? (307 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of The PrestigeBorden and Sarah (394 kb)


More clips from The Prestige at Amazon.com

 

“The score vanishes like a wittle bird in a flimsy wittle cage...or does it? Is Julyan's work squashed by the intricacies of the story or does it really disappear?”

Are You Listening Closely?
Review by Christopher Coleman


Director Christopher Nolan has worked his way into Hollywood's most daring and inventive directors. Wherever Christopher Nolan is, there also is composer David Julyan - almost always. For the film, Nolan delivers yet another brain-tingling story - not just in its plot but in Nolan's telling of it. The performances of Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier and his one-time-chort-then-rival, Alfred Borden, played by Christian Bale, are equally compelling. THE PRESTIGE is, at its core, a movie about competition, obsession, revenge...and magic and somewhere behind the brilliant writing, acting, set pieces, lighting, and direction is David Julyan's versper-like score.

Once in a great while a movie will so involve me that I pay no attention to the score whatsoever. That ALMOST happened here with THE PRESTIGE. As I reached the halfway mark of the film, I thought to myself, "Hmmm. Has there been a scene with any score yet?' There had been, in fact, several scenes that had been scored, but I, was so engrossed in watching the feats of "magic" or in the tale that weaved between their performances, that the score went totally unnoticed. If there has ever been a musical soundtrack that defined the word, "underscore," David Julyan's work for THE PRESTIGE is it. So what about the second half of the film? Well, far be it from me to ruin anything for you, but suffice it to say...while there was score throughout the second half, it went totally unnoticed by me...at least until the end credits began. (And at that moment, I immediately wished there had been no music to start the end credits at all. Terrible selection there guys.)

Now there are those that enjoy this type of score outside of the context of the film. I'm rarely among them. The argument could certainly be made that Julyan's score fit the the movie perfectly. I'd be inclined to agree there. The score vanishes like a wittle bird in a flimsy wittle cage...or does it? Was Julyan's work squashed by the intricacies of the story or or does it really disappear? Only the performer knows the secret truth. The evidence as provided by Hollywood Records proves that there was indeed more score for this film than one would guess at. David Julyan's work is mostly subtle, understated, background swells of stringy mischief. Intense and foreboding at times and solemn at others, the music makes its presence felt strongest at those revelatory moments of the film. But in even those moments, the music almost seems to be an unused prop on the stage.

What I would call the main theme of THE PRESTIGE is coldly introduced in "Are You Watching Closely" (1). This simple ascending "theme" is utilized extensively and effectively throughout the score. Again it appears in tracks 2 and 3, building tension, building angst, building expectation. A slight change in tone can be detected in track 4, "Borden Meets Sarah" where we have as melancholy a love theme that you'll ever hear. This "Borden and Sarah theme" returns in "No, not today" (9)

Overall, things return to the meandering orchestral swells for the next few tracks. Julyan brings back the lighter theme introduced in "Colorado Springs" (2) for track 11, "Cutter Returns." While the same waves of strings keep lapping the shores, there is, at the onset of the track, a slight brightening of tone. Without releasing its moody-grip, even this track returns to its menacing posture before it's halfway finished. The music intensifies again in track 13, "Man's Reach Exceeds His Imagination". The everpresent ebbings and flowings remain, but decidely louder. The brass section leads the entire orchestra with almost a feeling of hope, yet as the track progresses the uneasiness reasserts itself. Finally, the score reaches it's chlling-heights as "The Price of a Good Trick."

THE PRESTIGE is a great film with a perfectly fitting score. The music broods on and on with an obsessiveness only rivaled by the two magician's own desire to devise and execute the perfect trick and likewise thwart every attempt of their rival. THE PRESTIGE is very much en par with MEMENTO and INSOMNIA, great in context, but a little thin all by its lonesome.  Ultimately, this is a difficult score to rate.  It does its job well in the film and for that one could give it a "9' or "10"; however, even from one who thoroughly enjoyed the film, the score still isn't very enjoyable outside of that context and so must be rated much lower.  I believe that a great score reminds of the great moments or great emotion of the film. With such scores, I am generally satisfied with that experience. Oddly enough, in the case of THE PRESTIGE, listening to David Julyan's simply makes me want to watch the movie again.
 

Rating: 5/10

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Are You Watching Closely? 1:51  **
2 Colorado Springs 4:15  ***
3 The Light Field 1:50  **
4 Borden Meets Sarah 2:11  ***
5 Adagio for Julia 2:08  **
6 A New Trick 4:29  ***
7 The Journal 2:55  **
8 The Transported Man 2:36  **
9 No, Not Today 2:31  ***
10 Caught 1:39  **
11 Cutter Returns 2:13  ***
12 The Real Transported Man 2:28  **
13 Man's Reach Exceeds His Imagination 2:08  **
14 Goodbye to Jess 2:58  **
15 Sacrifice 5:15  ***
16 The Price of a Good Trick 5:06  ***
17 The Prestige 1:40  **
  Total Running Time (approx) 48 minutes  

 

 
   

 

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