Magic

A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy.

 

United States
1978
Feature Film
Realism: 
Surreal
Character Focus: 
Doll Film
Professional Film
Dolls: 
Ventriloquist dummy
6
Believe in Magic!
6
5.04
7.04
7.04
3
3
3
Performances
Pace
Plot
This is the story of a ventriloquist and a doll that looks like him. The man can do card tricks, but it isn’t paying the rent. Magic has some of the stiffness of the 1970s, when it comes to acting, with a glimpse of what movies would become in the 1980s. Anthony Hopkins owns this part. He makes a good movie great. The man looks friendly, but he’s a potential nut case.
At some point, we start suspecting the doll might be alive. It either is or isn’t, and Hopkins’ character is, subsequently, either crazy or isn’t. Hopkins never ceases to impress, with all the skills he had to learn to make this movie work, from the sleigh of hand to the puppetry. He really blends with the doll and he looks like he’s been a ventriloquist all his life.
Magic is an interesting movie, but it doesn’t spend all its time in the right places. It doesn’t try all that hard to protect its mystery. Also, to live up to its gimmick, it should probably be funkier and more colorful. It probably shouldn’t spend so much time in the middle of the woods. Don’t expect a slasher flick. This is a psychological thriller that suggests a supernatural element.
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