At his first big gig in front of an actual crowd, Corky, a mangy musician, finds himself heckled off stage in a decrepid, low-rent club that was willing to hire him. Down on his luck, Corky struggles with failure but that all changes when he finds Fats, a dummy. Along with Fats, Corky's ventriliquest act flourishes, becoming successful and financially sound. His agent, Ben Green, even gets a TV contract but Corky turns it down, unwilling to take a medical exam on "principle". Fleeing back to his home town, which has almost completely been wiped off the map by poverty, Corky seeks out his high school crush Peggy, but the more time they spend together it becomes apparenty that Corky isn't exactly mentally stable. After the recent death of Richard Attenborough I decided to finaly see Magic, a film I had long neglected. Magic is a highly impressive early film from Attenborough that is a very well-crafted suspense / thriller / horror film with an incredibly central performance by Anthony Hopkins. Magic is a film that makes you uncomfortable in your own skin, watching Anthony Hopkins brilliantly play a man who is completely crumbling from the inside out. It's an effective creeper but what makes it so impressive is just how much empathy it creates for its characters. Corky is a man who is controlled by the fabricated personality of Fats he created, making him a truly sympathetic character by the end of the film. Attenborough layers this brilliant deteriorating performance with a heavy dose of atmosphere, using great use of juxtaposition and editing to create an immersive experience. This is a film that truly cares about its protagonist/antagonist, making the audience understand his past and present and therefore feel empathy. With Magic, Attenborough has created a film that works on nearly every level, showing an impressive eye for direction which makes me think he should be brought up more in that regard.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.