Follow TV Tropes


Film / Magicians

Go To

2007 British comedy film starring comedic duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb of Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look fame.

Harry (Mitchell) and Karl (Webb) used to be best friends and partners in a magic double act. Unfortunately, Harry caught Karl sleeping with his wife during the interval of one of their shows. Even more unfortunately, when the show resumed Harry decapitated his wife in a magic trick gone very badly wrong. Despite Harry's protestations of innocence and getting cleared, the act fell apart and years later, the two remain bitter rivals down on their luck, Harry reduced to working in a hardware store and Karl trying to reinvent himself as a Derren Brown-style mentalist. But there's a magic competition with a £20,000 prize for the winner announced, prompting Harry and Karl to enter against each other...

This film provides examples of:

  • Armored Closet Gay: The only thing more noticeable than Otto's obvious homosexual feelings for Karl is how deeply Otto is in denial about his homosexual feelings for Karl.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In their climactic back-stage confrontation, Harry delivers one to Karl about Karl's suspicions that Harry murdered his wife:
    Harry: All I'm saying is, this is me you're talking to. Harry. Who you've known since you were thirteen. And do you really, really think I could murder someone? Me? Actually do a murder? Or do you think it's maybe just a bit easier for you to think that I'm a murderer than to face up to all the guilt for having screwed your best friend's wife?
  • Casanova Wannabe: Tony White.
  • Clear My Name: A variant; Harry was actually cleared of murdering his wife in a coroner's court, and the death appears to have genuinely been a freak accident, but naturally the suspicious circumstances mean that everyone around him suspects it was deliberate nevertheless. The climax, however, does hinge on him persuading Karl that he actually didn't do it.
  • Concert Climax: Instead of the heroes having to prevent a murder, however, the tension of the climax comes from the audience wondering whether one's going to be committed.
  • Concert Kiss: Harry admits he loves Linda in his victory speech, and the two kiss in front of the audience.
  • Cold Reading: During Karl's "psychic" act, a plant is put in the audience to facilitate this... but it goes badly wrong.
  • Death as Comedy: The death of Harry's wife is played for laughs more than anything else.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Played with; there are some suggestions that Karl's affair with Harry's wife was not entirely consensual on his part, and he appears to be mildly traumatised as a result. However, while it's not especially played for laughs, it's nevertheless not treated as seriously as it likely would have been had the genders been reversed.
  • Fatal Method Acting: The death of Harry's wife is an In-Universe example.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tony White is showing off his seduction 'technique' to Harry, which basically involves hanging around a ferry's cafeteria and asking the female serving staff for a blowjob. One of them quips back that he should go down on her instead. Tony immediately starts whining about how disgusting and rude this was of her.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Karl.
  • Job Title
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Karl's encounter with Harry's wife, and the resulting traumatic meltdowns that followed, appear to have left him impotent. His developing relationship with Dani begins to heal this, however.
  • Phony Psychic: Karl tries to become one of these, but is a little too decent to actually go through with it.
  • Photo Montage: Featured in the opening credits.
  • Political Overcorrectness: The judges of the competition make a not-particularly-subtle insinuation that the single female performer is only getting through to the final round thanks to this.
  • Soapbox Sadie: From what we see, the act of Mandy Pandy (the sole female finalist) appears to be this crossed with some kind of magic-themed mime. Mike Francis isn't overly impressed.
  • Stage Magician: The two main characters are these, and the story is set at a stage magic competition
  • Too Much Information: At the climax, while Harry is strapping Karl into the guillotine Karl can't seem to stop himself from nervously blurting out information on the many and frequent ways in which Harry's dead wife was unfaithful to him.
    Karl: Just so you know, what you think happened between me and Carol didn't really happen. I mean, we did do things, but, well, I don't want to go into too much detail. But, you know, she demanded satisfaction. Sorry. I've probably said too much, but the implication's clear... She made me go down on her.
  • Transparent Closet: Otto
    Otto: We've all taken a wrong turn and ended up somewhere weird... like a vagina.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Mike Francis isn't exactly violent, but he is incredibly bad-tempered and cynical.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Tony White's son, Dwight White.
  • What Have We Ear?: Karl does this stylishly with his business card.