‘An Honest Liar’ is a very entertaining documentary about James “The Amazing” Randi who is a magician and escape artist. His role model was Houdini, which leads him to change his career path by revealing tricks of telepaths and other such professionals of mysticism. Created by Tyler Measom and Justine Weinstein the story portrays many arch rivals of James along with some reminiscent story told by his celebrity friends. It takes advantage of the coming out of James Randi as a homosexual.
A tale is told about how Randall James Hamilton Zwinge, from Toronto, joins a carnival at the age of 17 and plays the role of a conjuror. He gains fame as a TV guest for his magic and escape illusions. It presents a TV viewing of the 50’s in which Randi attempts to get out of a straight jacket while hanging upside down. They illustrate Randi’s appearances in “Happy Days” and “The Tonight Show,” among other high profile Television appearances. They even show him working with Alice Cooper in his concerts during the 70’s.
Later on his career he is presented as the one who reveals the hidden trick behind the illusions. Randi exposes healers that claim they have paranormal powers and presents a Godly perspective. They also show how he finds out how Uri Geller (the spoon bender) from the 70’s is able to attempt to manipulate objects through concentration by hampering his tricks.
Randi shows how even a scientist can be conned by fake mentalists. Randi shows no guilt in exposing others methods of illusion. He becomes obsessed in debunking tricks by others. He does get certain illusionists to apologize for deceiving scientists. The movie is a well put together documentary, which shows the good and bad aspects of the Amazing Randi as he establishes himself as an entertainer who in his earlier career entertains through illusions and then becomes one who debunks the illusions of others.
Photo credit: An Honest Liar