Underrated Movie Performance: Rebecca Hall in “The Prestige”

When big names star in a movie it kind of overshadows those that put in just as great of a performance but aren’t as well known. Rebecca Hall in The Prestige performed a great role but was largely ignored due to the fact that Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, and even Scarlett Johansson were present. Scarlett didn’t even play that big of a role, whereas Rebecca was much more prevalent. But her confusing relationship with Bale’s character was only confounded by the fact that the big secret, the fact that Bale’s character had a twin that neither she nor Scarlett’s character knew about, kind of stole the show. There was far more to do with the magic tricks and the continuing feud between the two illusionists than there was concerning the declining relationship between Bale and Hall’s characters.

That’s kind of too bad since it was a relationship that was doomed from the start. Bale’s most intense magic trick was that he could seemingly be anywhere he wanted to be, show up unexpectedly, and was only bound by his own arrogance as the film rolled on. As twins, each man loved one of the women that he was bound to, but each man had to play the part and therefore cover for the other occasionally. This meant that the women in their lives knew absolutely nothing about their secret aside from the fact that each man was different when they were around them. Rebecca’s descent from pleased, happy wife into the tortured and suicidal mess she became was kind of glossed over in favor of the bigger story. It wasn’t the main part of the film to be certain, but it had a lot to do with the mental state of Bale’s character as his wife went spiraling down into depression before ending her own life.

Despite the fact that her performance wasn’t as memorable in the movie it did allow her to continue forward since she proved that she was capable of creating a persona that was believable though unbearably tragic. Since that point she’s been a solid fixture in Hollywood and has gone on to star in films such as Iron Man 3, Transcendence, The BFG, and several others. Thankfully not all of her roles were as tragic as the one she performed in The Prestige, as being typecast is something a lot of actors prefer to avoid in favor of expanding their repertoire and becoming more valuable due to their ability to adapt and take on other roles that can show their versatility. Rebecca has shown throughout the years that she is more than capable of standing on her own two feet and contending with the likes of actors that have been firmly established in the industry and have a larger than life reputation.

After all she managed to do this in The Prestige no matter that she was so heavily overshadowed. The part she played was quite important but somehow it was taken for granted it feels like and left to exist on its own in a kind of separate limbo that was allowed to reside in its own little area in the film.


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