[SPOILER] Stupid Question

The 2006 film about rival magicians desperately trying to learn the secrets of each others tricks.
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When Judith drowned, why didn't they just open the top of the box? Surely they had a key for it.

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First off, no question is stupid. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. ;)

I treat this as not a particular goof but simply that the characters overlooked the possibility of simply opening the top of the box. It is established that their emergency was to use an axe and break open the water tank, and it seems that was their way of handling the emergency. In any case, the rescue attempt was pretty poor and turned out the way it did.

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I really want to like the Prestige, but I can't call it a "great" movie without that being explained somehow.

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When we panic, we don't think logically. So Cutter only had one thing on his mind; get her out before she drowns. The easiest way was to simply break the glass instead of trying to open it, which would've taken much longer.

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niniendowarrior wrote:First off, no question is stupid. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. ;)
This is why I opted to join and stay only in these forums for discussions of Nolan films... anywhere else and it's a trollfest/angry reply

thx so much for this mates :clap:

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Plus, breaking the glass with an axe is much more dramatic than just opening the top.

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Baz744 wrote:When Judith drowned, why didn't they just open the top of the box? Surely they had a key for it.
They shouldn't have locked the box at all. How would the audience have known?

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Breaking the glass was an emergency rescue for anything going wrong. Other problems could occur other than just Julia not untying the knot. Perhaps the trick padlock could get stuck.

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the tank is taller than a person so it would be dificult to climb and have the strength to pull her of the tank, even with a ladder


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I've wondered the same thing, but really they wouldn't even need a key since it's a trick lock. The best explanation is that the axe is more dramatic, and provides for the suspense and the necessary failure.

Buuuut I don't feel like doing any ACTUAL work today, so allow me to toss some fuel for debate in the mix, though obviously I don't have a concrete explanation.

Maybe they didn't want the audience to see the use of the trick lock in the rescue to preserve the secret of the trick, and of other similar escape tricks since it is "a standard magical aparatus for escapes." Perhaps they would even be at risk of a law suit from other magicians employing the same trick if they expose it? I don't know how that would have worked back then.
However, we know Cutter is willing to get his hands dirty for the sake of a trick, but he wouldn't be likely cross that line judging by his reaction to Angier's Lord Caldlow stunt. Also, they easily could have pretended to unlock the trick lock. Perhaps the trick lock can only be opened from the inside? That wouldn't make much sense...

Perhaps they figured if Julia was unable to slip the knot, she wouldn't be able to get to the surface of the water even if they opened the top. By the time someone was able to to climb up there, get the top open, help Julia out of the water by having to jump into the tank themselves (and who knows how difficult it would be in that small space to come in on top of her and then try to pull her up), then for one of the other men to help pull her out so she could get a breath...maybe they assumed the axe method would be quicker. Maybe they just assumed the axe would work without testing it.

In the end, I don't think it's a glaring enough flaw for it to reduce your opinion of the movie from "great" to something less. It really is a great movie ;)

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