‘An Honest Liar’ Review

By Louie Wieseman

The Amazing Randi, the once and still powerful magicians, hates psychics. It’s apparently clear in his up and down career in An Honest Liar. The film is about James Randi, the now 86 year old ex-magician and professional liar. He was a very successful magician after running away from home when he was 17 years old.

    He was upfront about his tricks, unlike many illusionists and psychics at the time. During his short career he appeared on many TV shows including the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. After that he became very critical of psychics saying that what they said could deeply hurt people.

The film shifts from his career to the battle he faced trying to disprove these people, especially Uri Geller. The shift is a strong one with the tone of the entire film with it going uplifting and fun to very angry since so many people were mad at Randi. During a Q&A after the film I was able to ask director Tyler Measom about Randi’s seemingly job to take down these other psychics and religious preachers. Measom said, “Whenever you question whatever people hold dear whether it be God, faith, psychic abilities, goodness, happiness, whatever it may be I think someone, anyone will be upset in some way.“

What Measom didn’t expect the film to become was it to become a story about gay rights with Randi’s partner, either. The shocking and sudden shift to his spouse’s problems shows Randi’s true side. Measom also expressed how Randi was a bit of a character on camera, but after a while the ‘true Randi’ started coming out. James Randi is rarely shown, but it’s because it’s a relatively normal person. Amazing Randi is the true starring persona.

With interviews featuring Adam Savage (MythBusters), Alice Cooper, Penn & Teller, and even Bill Nye all praising the Amazing Randi, his presence was definitely larger than life. An Honest Liar does a great job at recapping a ginormous career into a short amount of time. A very exciting lifetime of magic and deceiving makes for a great story. For those wondering if the saying ‘a good magician never reveals their tricks,’ the Amazing Randi keeps his lips sealed on how all of his own tricks are done himself.

Verdict: Incredible
Positives: Absolutely heartwarming, very well put together; never overstays its’ welcome, touches on other issues in the film without being overbearing about it.
Negatives: None! I absolutely love how it was produced and put together.