[SPOILERS] Are you watching closely?

The 2006 film about rival magicians desperately trying to learn the secrets of each others tricks.
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darkest_knight wrote:I still want to know how light bulbs sticking out of the snow can light up.
You'd have to have 2 independent layers of snow.

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Too many pages here, but I like to start simply with the disappearing bird trick.
You want to be fooled. You don't want to know the secret.
Behind Cutter and the little girl are a lot of identical birds.
If one wasn't killed during the trick, he wouldn't need so many.
It's awful when you find out like Sarah's nephew.
It's no longer magic, but butchery.
Foreshadowing of course, but also showing Borden's trick was no trick at all. (which many of us saw)

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This very simple realization just occurred to me as I read that: Angier's trick with the clones and the machine is a direct parallel to the bird trick that is introduced at the beginning of the film. Though Angier's trick is obviously a more high-tech version, the principle is the same. Angier kills a clone of himself everytime he performs the trick, just as one of the identical birds is killed everytime the trick is performed. The first and last scenes of The Prestige now almost seem to have an Inception like quality in the fact that the first scene shows the apparatus (birdcage used in the trick) surrounded by the clones (the birds in the birdcages) and the last scene shows the apparatus (Tesla's machine) surrounded by the clones (Angiers in the water tanks). The main difference is in the beginning the clones (birds) are alive and at the end the clones (Angeirs) are dead. This is a nice correlation for the beginning and ending of a movie, life to death. Now that I think about it, the life and death also correlates well to the state of the magic. In the beginning of the film the magic of the trick is still alive and mystifying to the viewer. By the end of the film, the magic of the trick is dead and the viewer is left seeing the brutality that is the true nature of the trick.

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This is something that struck me during the first couple times I watched the film and I have yet to make complete sense of it so maybe y'all can help. The characters in the film all die by either hanging, drowning, or gunshot.
Drowning- Julia and Angier's clones
Hanging- Sarah and Freddy Borden
Gunshot- only Angier although Alfred Borden's fingers are shot off by Angier during the bullet catch

Do you think there is any significance to that?

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kahern93 wrote:This is something that struck me during the first couple times I watched the film and I have yet to make complete sense of it so maybe y'all can help. The characters in the film all die by either hanging, drowning, or gunshot.
Drowning- Julia and Angier's clones
Hanging- Sarah and Freddy Borden
Gunshot- only Angier although Alfred Borden's fingers are shot off by Angier during the bullet catch

Do you think there is any significance to that?
:think: Could be. There's the occurrence of duplicity in the film - Angier's clones, the
Borden twins
thing - so they could be allusions to it.

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Could be. There's the occurrence of duplicity in the film - Angier's clones, the

Borden twins
thing - so they could be allusions to it.

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Well, people may disagree with this, but I feel that Freddy Borden is very much responsible for pushing Sarah over the edge and resulting in her hanging herself. So the fact that they both died via hanging struck me as significant. Angier and Borden both shot each other in order to each revenge for a loved ones death (Julia and Freddy). The drowning one puzzles me though, it could be a number of things (but then I guess so could all of them). Julia's death resulted in Angier's slow progression into "getting his hands dirty", and him killing his clones every show is the extreme of that progression. Both Julia's death and the death of the clones could also represent the dangers and sacrifices that are inherent with performing magic. Julia drowned because they were trying a new knot in order to improve the trick, and Angier's clones had to die in order for him to keep performing his version of the Transported Man. Maybe I'm looking too far into this death duplicity thing, then again its Nolan so there's no such thing as too deep, but I've been trying to figure out if there's any symbolism behind the specific methods of murder/death that appeared in the film.

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kahern93 wrote:
Could be. There's the occurrence of duplicity in the film - Angier's clones, the

Borden twins
thing - so they could be allusions to it.

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Well, people may disagree with this, but I feel that Freddy Borden is very much responsible for pushing Sarah over the edge and resulting in her hanging herself.
I can see that. Her clear unease at the fact that she is essentially married to two people ("Do you love me today?") That must have something to do with it, not least psychologically!

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Erik wrote:WARNING: This topic will pretty much contain all spoilers about the ending of The Prestige. If you haven't seen the movie, I would advise you to stop reading here.




I just watched The Prestige again, for the first time in like 12 months (which is very long for a movie I like so much!)
Now, the last words that where spoken are these:

Cutter: Now you're looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

I can't get this off my mind. To me, in the ending, everything is explained. Borden has a twin brother, they both take turns and pretend to be Fallon one at a time, that's his trick on the Transported Man. Algiers uses something different. A machine that hasn't even a name. It's not a transporting device, it's a duplicator. It places a copy of something or someone, on a specific place. Every question raised in the movie, is answered.

Yet still Cutter tries to convince us something we haven't seen.
Is there something in this movie we didn't see. Something that wasn't shown or more likely: was shown, but we didn't see? Is there like a second twist-ending?

Erik - everyone else on this thread tells you - you didn't miss anything - but you did - you are right - Cutter's words have HUGE significance - and now, eight years after the movie was released, the significance is apparent - you just have to look CLOSELY

"Are you watching closely" ?????

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It depends how literal you want to take the ending really.

The fact that - at the end of the film - even after the reveal of Borden being identical twins - the viewer is still being told Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled would suggest (to me anyway) that the viewer has missed something. That there still is a trick we haven't noticed or recognised as a trick. We still want to believe that what we see on the screen is the truth.

Couple that with Borden's words to Angier, when Angier says Do you want to see what it cost me? You didn't see where you are, did you? Let me show you., to which Borden immediately responds I don't care (Incidentally, not in the official screenplay) and I lean towards the possibility that Tesla's machine never actually worked.

This is why Borden is so dismissive of Angier's trick - he knows that it is just a trick. There was never a machine that could duplicate people, and Angier was never duplicated to perform the trick - he used a double as before. Borden knows that whatever Angier says to him - even in his final moments - will be an attempt by Angier to fool Borden into thinking that the trick is real - to keep the illusion going - to make Borden think that Angier really was the better magician.

In terms of the flashbacks during that final scene (and I know that this is a real stretch but...) my theory is that what the viewer sees during Borden's reveal of being an identical twin are actually what Angier perceives in his mind while Borden is explaining to him how his trick - how his life - worked. So, if that theory is correct, when Angier is talking about the risks that he took using the machine - Not knowing if I'd be the Prestige or the man in the box - we are actually still seeing Angier still trying to fool Borden.

It's only when Angier realises that Borden isn't falling for what he's saying that he actually admits to the truth. A confession as such, from one magician to another: For nothing? The audience knows the truth. The world is simple. It's miserable. Solid...solid all the way through. But if you could fool them even for a second. Then you could make them wonder. And then you got to see something very special.

However, the viewer takes everything that we see literally as we still want to be fooled.

(The theory about the Tesla machine not working has already been mentioned in previous threads - and much better than I. Suffice to say that the machine never worked. Tesla conned Angier out of all his money. Angier realised this when he first tested it and there was nothing that he could do about it. So Angier got back in touch with Root to reform their "Transported Man" trick - all with greater bells and whistles than before. It was the unfortunate Root who died in the box - all in an attempt to frame Borden. This is why you only see one body in the box at the end of the movie.)

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The film's misdirect of the twins/clones 'twists' being the vital plot point of the film is one of its many talents.

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The theory about Tesla machine not working doesn’t fit.

Firstly because it is said during the movie that a water tank (where Angier’s clones or Angier himself were drowning) is transported after every representation, so there’s not only one person that died even if only one body is shown in the end.

Moreover, Root doesn’t have the same voice than Angier, so as Cutter said it was impossible for him to speak or he was about to be spotted by the spectators. But in the final show, Angier was speaking during the introduction and during the prestige (when he reappeared), so it couldn’t be Root in the prestige.
Borden even spotted from the beginning of The New Transported Man that it was a double, he said it to Olivia the first time he met her. But during the final Transported Man of Angier, Borden was angry because he didn’t spot any evidence that it was a double.

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