Have you been searching for a copy of the Illusionist locket? So have thousands of other movie fans. Find out why this imaginative piece has proven to be so elusive.
The 2006 movie release The Illusionist is a period piece set in 1900's Vienna. It's a tale of magic, mystery and romance.
Edward Norton stars as the title character, Eisenheim the Illusionist, a master magician who is suddenly reunited with his true love after many years' separation. Alas, Sophie, played by Jessica Biel, is now engaged to be married to Crown Prince Leopold, a not-so-closeted sadist played to the hilt by British actor Rufus Sewell. Predictably, a love triangle ensues as the determined Prince employs the local police inspector to track the magician in an effort to reveal him as a fraud. As the drama unfolds and builds, the Illusionist hatches a plot he hopes will deliver Sophie to him for all time.
Life, as in magic, is never quite what it seems, but if we told you more it would spoil the movie.
The Famous Illusionist Locket
This story has captured the romantic imagination of thousands of the film's fans. Of all the ornate necklaces, earrings and other gems displayed in the film, most of the follow up interest seems to be centered on a locket that plays a small but crucial role in reuniting the two lovers.
In the film, the Illusionist locket was created by Eisenheim as a gift for young Sophie before they were separated. At first glance, it is a simple wooden rectangle, rounded at the corners bearing the image of a butterfly painted on one side. However, in shades of things to come, the locket is more than it appears to be.
When twisted in the middle, the locket separates on the diagonal, rotating into a heart shape. Once clicked into place, the top of the heart pivots to the side to reveal an inner compartment that holds a picture of the would-be magician for his sweetheart to remember him by.
Here we come to the "heart" of the locket's appeal. Through the modern day magic of filmmaking, we only see one apparently working locket, but in reality it took a bit of photographic slight-of-hand and two separate lockets to create the Illusionist locket we see on the screen.
This leads us to a perplexing problem. In an era of unlimited merchandising potential, the public has grown used to being able to buy almost anything they see on the silver screen. Like the film? Own it on DVD a few months later. Enjoy the soundtrack? You can purchase that, too.
So naturally, when the Illusionist locket began to draw so much attention, fans flocked to online and local jewelry stores to purchase a copy for themselves. Imagine their disappointment when they realized the locket was not to be had.
Locket mania led to more online activity as fans searched for sources for the piece, or at the very least plans to make one for themselves. After all, it was carved from wood, so it couldn't be that difficult, could it?
The answer so far has been yes, it really is that difficult. Although you can find proposed plans for recreating the exact locket seen in the film, no one seems to have yet solved the riddle of the locket completely. It would appear that it's nearly impossible to create a working design that mirrors the locket on the screen, and this is probably why the movie studio used two lockets to create the illusion of one.
Until someone is successful in recreating the illusive puzzle locket, we'll all just have to content ourselves with the film version. After all, a true magician never reveals how the trick is performed. It appears that the Illusionist locket will do the same.
See For Yourself
For those who haven't yet seen The Illusionist, you can enjoy a short film clip of the famous locket courtesy of YouTube.com.