in about 100 words or less
US 117m, Colour
Director: Guy Green; Cast: Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, Candice Bergen, Anna Karina, Julian Glover
The Magus is a largely incomprehensible film which is based on John Fowles’ 1966 novel of the same name. Despite the fact that Fowler also wrote the screenplay, the adaptation of this psychological drama neglects important detail regarding Michael Caine’s character Nicholas Urfe. Without an understanding of Nicholas’ motivations, the purpose and meaning of his psychological torment by Quinn’s enigmatic character, Conchis, is never fully realized. Confronted with ever-changing explanations, Nicholas’ reality becomes lost along with the plot. On the plus side, The Magus contains some beautiful cinematography and the potential for a very interesting story that is reminiscent of Memento (2002), but unfortunately, the plot becomes so obscure that both Nicholas and the audience are left wondering what happened (Klaus Ming November 2010).