Magic Magician’s assistant Corky (Sir Anthony Hopkins) performs disastrously at his first solo appearance. He is given a ventriloquist dummy called “Fats” to improve his act, and within a few years, Corky is at the height of fame. However, Fats has developed a mind of his own, and wants to control his master.
Attenborough Directs A Creepy Psychological Thriller
Magic Richard Attenbourough has directed an intriguing and creepy little psychological thriller about a schizophrenic ventriloquist who ‘splits’ his identity with his dummy. Attenbourough has given a lot of attention to the setting creating an atmospheric effect such as the silent gloomy lake (inhabited by snapping turtles) and Corky’s lonely cabin. The cinematography, particularly the closeups, are very impressive. ‘Magic’ is a simple film and while many have assumed that it’s a horror film where the dummy is expected to become some kind of horrific entity (as I thought), that is not the case. Anthony Hopkins gives a stunning performance as the complex, shy and lonely Corky who finally finds love and his manipulative dummy Fats. There are so many moments of his excellent acting. Some examples include the scene where Corky is subjected to ‘stop being Fats’ for 5 minutes, the boat sequence and Hopkins’s scenes with Ann Margret. Though he is more recognized for his ‘chilling’ Hannibal Lector persona, ‘Magic’ definitely showcases one of his best performances. The sexy Ann Margret also does an excellent job as the love of Corky’s life. She brings a lot of depth to Peggy and she shows more than expected. Burgess Meredith leaves a mark as Corky’s concerned manager. Overall, it’s nice to see a different kind of Attenborough film. One that is quite well made and very well acted.
Hopkins doesnt seem to mention Magic much. While it isnt the fastest pace movie around,it is creepy,thoroughly well acted,and I dare you to find a movie with better use of a harmonica/accordian in its soundtrack. But my all-time favorite thing about Magic is the puppet- “Fats”. A truly overlooked classic character. FACT: Fats was designed by Disney employees,but Disney didnt want to be associated with such a dark film. Also,the films Production Designer went on to win several Oscars.
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