This is a total different movie than The Prestige. First of, while The Prestige is a story of rivalry, this is more some kind of romantic drama. Where The Prestige keeps tricking us and playing us, The Illusionist only plays one major magic trick on the viewer.
How the movie will end is rubbed into us in the beginning even more than in Smokin' Aces, but we can sort of forgive it since its a part of The Illusion ;)
The feel in The Illusionist is a lot more unreal than in the Prestige, while the truth might nevertheless be the quite opposite. Talking about being fouled?
The Illusionist is a classic story about one man (poor) being in love with a high class woman (rich) and because of this not being able to get her. It helps of course that this man is the best magician ever seen. This is basically the essence of the movie and is the same archetypical elements that one can find again all over in fairy tales and stories. Just like Cinderella for example.
What I wonder is: Isn’t the odds a bit too easy for this man since he is such a magician, or is the fact that he must devote most of his life into becoming the best, to get her, a too big sacrifice?
I really don’t know... But anyway - a good movie to watch - if you like romantic drama....