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Name: Vu Mai Loan

Class: Advanced Finance 56B

ID: 11142552

Analyze the theme of reality and illusion in the movie The Illusionist. Show
evidences in the movie.
The movie The Illusionist is the movie based on the short story Eiseheim the
Illusionist of Stephen Millhauser with a familiar motive of the love between charismatic
magician named Eisenheim and the Duchess Sophie. However, what makes The
Illusionist different is the way the author blended reality and fiction, through the use of
the illusionists astonishing performances, the animated reaction of audience, and the
conflict involving the illusionist and the police officer.
By looking into the beginning of the movie, it is apparent that depictions
intermingle with historical references and fictional characters. It is important to consider
why the author tries to blend reality and fiction this way. The movie clearly states
historical circumstances of Eiseheims background a famous illusionist in the last 19 th
century in Vienna. That convinces readers to feel that he was a factual men in history and
all events around him are real. However, the author also puts a range of fictional plots in
the movie. In the scenes from Eiseheims childhood, he became interested in magic after
meeting a travelling magician who made himself disappear with a tree; or many
Eiseheims impressive performances such as making orange trees materialize from empty
pots, enlisting butterflies to transport handkerchiefs, and capturing a soul in a mirror at a
performance attended by the Crown Prince.
In particular, the confrontation occurring between the illusionist and the police
chief Uhl clearly emphasizes how the reality and the illusion are intermingled. The police
chief alters his role according to the types of illusions Eiseheim performs. Initially, he is

fascinated by the performances, but gradually he becomes an adversary who tries to arrest
the illusionist. He accuses that Eiseheim delibrately crossed boundaries between reality
and illusion, and therefore disturbed the essence of things. But when the Chief tries to
arrest him during a live show, Eisenheim's body fades and disappears. Shortly afterwards,
he has found evidence which links the Crown Prince to Sophie's murder. When he
accuses the Prince for murdering, the Prince flips out and says that the magician planted
everything and was trying to ruin him. The Crown Prince is right: Eisenheim uses the
stone to imput the Crown Prince. The gem from Crown Prince Leopold's sword that was
found in the hay stack in the barn was removed much earlier in the film by Eisenheim
during a trick using the Prince's sword. Perhaps, the entire film is a spectacular illusion
of the magician and his lover to get her safely away from the Prince so she they could be
together. Everything is only revealed in the final scenes. Even Eiseheim has repeatedly
confirmed that Everything you've seen is an illusion, it's a trick. in the previous scenes.
However, the audiences seem to not believe or do not want to believe it, but actually
think that Eiseheim has so-called supernatural power. Because what Eisenheim
achieves with his performance is an assimilation of reality and illusion within the
spectators minds. And then, from a fruitless relationship, the movie suddenly becomes a
debate about the immutability of the soul and the risk of overthrowing the government of
the people.
By the mixed description with both the historical reality and fictional references,
the movie The Illusionist succeeds in making vague boundary between the real events
and the fictional situation. In other words, the movie uncovers hidden aspects in the real
world, by putting the bizarre world that the illusionist creats on the stage beside actual
events. In short, the movie praises true love can erase the distance between classes, make
you do things that you can not explain and create miracles.

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