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The Magician (2005)

  Directed by: Scott Ryan
Written by: Scott Ryan
Starring: Massimiliano Andrighetto, Scott Ryan, Ben Walker
Links: The Magician on the IMDb
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2005 (nominee)

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Back to basics" - a review by pearly

Ray (Scott Ryan) is a down-to-earth hard working philosophical hit man. When we first meet him, he's performing a well planned hit on some guy, whilst being followed around by his neighbour Max (Massimiliano Andrighetto) who is making a doumentary about Ray's life and occupation. We then follow Ray around, through the eyes of Max's camera, as he goes on his merry hit man way.

Shot as a kind of side project by only a couple of guys, predominently Ryan, who not only plays the lead character, but is also credited with direction and writing, The Magician is an amazing feat of budget film making. With nothing too flashy going on (aside from the occasional gun shot), the film is back-to-basics, and just aims to tell a story, and it does this well.

The premise behind the film - that in The Blair Witch Project (1999) style, it is shot as a quasi-documentary that could, potentially, be real - allows for any of the budgetary constraints to be written off as artistic style, which is quite a clever way of doing things. For example, some of the shots in the film are quite dark, but this only adds to the authenticity of the story. Similarly, the film is shot hand-held, and whilst I thought that the shakiness may begin to bother me, I personally found that it wasn't an issue.

The film is at its best when it moves from the action sequences into the dialogue portions, during which Ray discusses with Max and one of his potential hits, Tony (Ben Walker), any number of pointless topics, such as whether or not Clint Eastwood was in The Dirty Dozen (1967), or whether Wayne Carey's actions could constitute a "mistake". I found some of these sequences to be laugh-out-loud funny, and I'm actually quite a rare theatre laugher. I was curious as to how the film would be wrapped up, but I'm happy to say that, although it is a little clichéd, I found the ending quite satisfying.

The Magician is certainly not going to be for everyone; I can imagine some people turning up their noses at it, purely based on the execution, though this is a shame. I don't think the film is going to set the world on fire, but for a Melburnite, it's definitely worth the price of admission. Now let's just hope I never get stuck in a dark Melbourne city alley with Ray.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 13 Oct 2005

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. loved it.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from jules on Thu 27 Oct 2005 16:09 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.00 (1 rating)

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