Forbidden love is a tale that is as old as time.
In the 2006 film, The Illusionist, Eisenheim, nee Eduard Abramovich (Edward Norton) is a magician with a growing reputation in 19th century Vienna. Duchess Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) is invited onto the stage to participate in an illusion. On the surface, this relationship seems like a magician and a randomly chosen audience member. But it is so much more. 15 years ago, Sophie and Eduard fell in love but class and religious differences kept them apart. After 15 years, the spark of love is as strong as it ever was.
Now there is another obstacle in their way: Sophie’s fiance, Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). More than a marriage of convenience than of love, Leopold has no problem resorting to less than honorable means when it comes to ensuring that the wedding will take place.
I have mixed feelings about this film. While the screenwriters relied heavily on a standard narrative and characters, they used the magic as an element in the film. The filmmakers also cast Rufus Sewell as the villain. This is not the first time he has played the villain/antagonist.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.