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The 2006 film about rival magicians desperately trying to learn the secrets of each others tricks.

Significance of the Bird Trick

Posts: 499
Location: Limbo
The disappearing bird trick is a recurring theme in the film.
It's used by Cutter in the opening, Borden assists a magician with the trick later on, and Angier and Cutter then try to alter it to where they didn't have to kill the bird.

The dissapearing man, particularly Angier's version is nothing more than a reflexion of the bird trick:
Angier uses Tesla's machine which replecates him, sending one Angier plunging to his death, and the other over onto the balcony where he makes a grand reapearance.

This is no different than the bird trick and it's representative of how far Angier's obsession for revenge has driven him: At the start of the film he wasn't even willing to kill the bird, so he tried and failed to do the trick without the causing the bird's death. Then, he attempts to best Borden and ends up being pushed to the point where he is willing to kill himself, over and over again every night to do it.


In fact, the entire film operates like the bird trick:
The Prestige: Sets up Borden and Angier as two fueding magicians
The Turn: Angier dies in the failed transported man trick and Borden is convicted and executed.
The Prestige: Both Angier and Borden's tricks are revealed, showing that they both still lived.
Finally: Just like in the bird trick, what happens behind the stage is the most startling when we find out the true nature of both men's tricks.

Are there any other ways in which the bird trick holds significance in the film? :think:
Posts: 8
Towards the beginning when Sarah's nephew sees the bird trick and says crying "he killed it" and more significantly " but where's him brother?" It sort of symbolizes
the two Alfred's (and their fates)
Posts: 499
Location: Limbo
Bocaj6487 wrote:Towards the beginning when Sarah's nephew sees the bird trick and says crying "he killed it" and more significantly " but where's him brother?" It sort of symbolizes
the two Alfred's (and their fates)


This is what I love so much about the Prestige; every aspect of it is so applicable to that simple trick! It's just great writing.
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Location: You're pretty good.
Yeah, the bird trick thingy is correct. Covered in other threads but still correct : ).
Posts: 499
Location: Limbo
prince0gotham wrote:Yeah, the bird trick thingy is correct. Covered in other threads but still correct : ).


It was? :? didn't check, sorry
Posts: 962
Location: portugal
this movie is very close to perfection
Posts: 7305
Location: London town, UK
I think its Nolan best all-round film.
Posts: 499
Location: Limbo
Z. Cobb wrote:I think its Nolan best all-round film.

I think the level of filmaking in The Prestige is on a whole different level. I'm still blown away by his use of flashbacks and visual metaphores (the bird trick). No matter how many times you see it you always catch some new element of it. :goNF:
Posts: 1618
There's something I didn't understand though...
Are both Borden I and II still alive at the end or only Borden who loved Sarah? Because in the end we see Borden who kills Angier and Borden who go and gets his daughter, is it the same Borden at 2 different times or are they the 2 Borden at the same time? And if it's the case, how could Borden who loved Olivia escape from prison?

Sorry, I got kind of confused with this ending :think:

Also what happened to Olivia in the end? How come she never came to see Borden who was about to die?
Posts: 528
Location: Italy
Batcat wrote:There's something I didn't understand though...
Are both Borden I and II still alive at the end or only Borden who loved Sarah? Because in the end we see Borden who kills Angier and Borden who go and gets his daughter, is it the same Borden at 2 different times or are they the 2 Borden at the same time? And if it's the case, how could Borden who loved Olivia escape from prison?

Sorry, I got kind of confused with this ending :think:


No,it's always the same Borden, the one who loved Sarah. The twin died hanged up.

Batcat wrote: Also what happened to Olivia in the end? How come she never came to see Borden who was about to die?


Yeah, I wondered this as well, but think they broke up in the restaurant, cuz she was pretty shocked by the coldness of Borden towards Sarah and in the end she didn't even know he was hanged up...
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