In Austria at the turn of the 20th century a young carpenter’s son falls in love with a girl from the local nobility. Obviously her family are not impressed by this and do their best to separate the pair, and after much drama they succeed. The young boy is Eisenheim, aka Eduard Abramovich, and at the very beginning of this film we see him on stage in Vienna. As he begins his act he is promptly arrested by Inspector Uhl. Uhl then heads off to debrief the Crown Prince Leopold, and as he does we get to see all the back story too.
I loved the look of this film. Visually it worked really really well. Such a pity then that the rest of the film fell short. I never got a sense of Eisenheim as a character. Yes, we know that he loves Sophie, who by now is unofficially engaged to the Leopold, but as for the rest of his character? Nothing. Sophie is slightly more understandable. She has grown up knowing that eventually she’ll have to marry for the good of her family, but yet was never able to forget her teenage love. Leopold is another character fairly lacking in development. He’s the badguy. And that is about it. Inspector Uhl is probably the most rounded of the main characters, and he is played superbly by Giamatti.
If I’m going to be brutally honest I was a little bored by this film. Possibly because I had a fair idea of what was going to happen all along. Show Spoiler ▼