Question on Angier

The 2006 film about rival magicians desperately trying to learn the secrets of each others tricks.
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Joined: May 2011
Hi All !

I thouroughly enjoyed the movie and the myriad discussions on this forum. I have a few questions on Angier's Clone.Before that I would like to conveniently assume that Tesla's machine indeed clones anything.
Also, when Angier tests the machine for the first time, he see's his clone and shoots him then and there. Now each time he performs the trick, once Angier steps into the machine and the electricity is at its peak, he uses the trapdoor and down goes the man into the box.
Let me refer to the real Angier as 'ANGIER' and his clone as 'CLONE'
Now here are my questions:
1. If its the ANGIER who steps into the machine, and the CLONE who drowns everytime, at what precise point does the cloning takes place, so that it is the CLONE who goes down the trapdoor and the ANGIER survives ?
2. If according to what we see in the cloning of the hat and the cat, the real object stays in the machine and the cloned one is teleported, who gets teleported everytime, the ANGIER or the CLONE ?
3. Or does it really matter as to who is ANGIER and who is the CLONE as both would be having the same memory as well ?
I put forth this question because whoever I asked to about this, felt that the real ANGIER was the one alive till the end, because he says "It takes great courage to step into that machine everytime, not knowing if I would be the man in the box, or in the prestige"

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I think the important idea is that Angier doesn't know how the machine works. So you can't say definitively one way or the other. It could be to clone that drowns, or it could be the original Angier that drowns.

The quote about him saying it took courage to climb into the machine doesn't tell us anything really. Because if the machine creates an exact clone of him, that clone would have the exact same memories as the original Angier, and would therefore believe itself to be the original Angier. Because of this, the surviving Angier has no way of knowing whether he is the original Angier, or is the cloned Angier.

So the bottom line is that the machine is a complete mystery, and no real evidence is given as to how exactly it works.

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Chella wrote:Hi All !

Let me refer to the real Angier as 'ANGIER' and his clone as 'CLONE'
Now here are my questions:
1. If its the ANGIER who steps into the machine, and the CLONE who drowns everytime, at what precise point does the cloning takes place, so that it is the CLONE who goes down the trapdoor and the ANGIER survives ?
2. If according to what we see in the cloning of the hat and the cat, the real object stays in the machine and the cloned one is teleported, who gets teleported everytime, the ANGIER or the CLONE ?
3. Or does it really matter as to who is ANGIER and who is the CLONE as both would be having the same memory as well ?

I put forth this question because whoever I asked to about this, felt that the real ANGIER was the one alive till the end, because he says "It takes great courage to step into that machine everytime, not knowing if I would be the man in the box, or in the prestige"
Hi Chella

Let me start with putting forth my interpretation of that quote by Angier. I took it to mean that he wasn't really talking about not knowing if he'd be the man in the box or the prestige in the literal sense. I think it harkens back to that saying, "Fear of the unknown." I really think he was talking about whether the machine would work properly each night he used it. In other words, one night something could have gone totally wrong and he might have just drowned without even producing a clone. And the machine obviously cloned everything about Angier every time otherwise he wouldn't be blind and greedy enough to step into that machine again and again. He did terrible things to prove he was the better magician and he definitely paved his own fate. So in my opinion, it wasn't courage that made him step into that machine every night, but rather that endless greed that seemed to plague Angier all the way to that bitter end. Hope this helps.

Posts: 25
Joined: May 2011
Hi All !
Thanks for replying to my queries. So it seems that my 3rd assumption
Chella wrote:3. Or does it really matter as to who is ANGIER and who is the CLONE as both would be having the same memory as well ?
fits in more.
Many of my friends have a strong feeling that it is the real Angier that survives till the end.But when I put forth my points they just could not come to a satisfactory conclusion !

@jcvargas09 - Your reply gives a philosophical perspective on Angier's thoughts ! Really good !

Anyway, some things are best left for the conclusion of the audience and more pondering on the same will lead to more and more bizzare thoughts !

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Location: Neo Kobe
There is no clone - they are both Angier, that is why the trick is frightening to him. Having a "clone" implies one of them is less human or less whole than the original, which isn't the case as you can see from Borden's point of view when he goes below the stage. He is murdering himself, that is why the whole thing is grotesque: he needed to get his hands dirty, but went way over the line. That's the cost of real magic and why Tesla told him no good would come of it. Angier could never sacrifice himself in the same that the twins did, his ego was too great - in effect he cheated, and of course paid for it psycholigically.

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Joined: March 2011
Code_R wrote:There is no clone - they are both Angier, that is why the trick is frightening to him. Having a "clone" implies one of them is less human or less whole than the original, which isn't the case as you can see from Borden's point of view when he goes below the stage. He is murdering himself, that is why the whole thing is grotesque: he needed to get his hands dirty, but went way over the line. That's the cost of real magic and why Tesla told him no good would come of it. Angier could never sacrifice himself in the same that the twins did, his ego was too great - in effect he cheated, and of course paid for it psycholigically.
So true. It's such a good line when he says he went in every time not knowing whether he'd be the one in the tank or the one on the balcony. I've never thought about it the way that you have - he sacrificed himself as well (not just the twins)

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Code_R wrote:There is no clone - they are both Angier, that is why the trick is frightening to him. Having a "clone" implies one of them is less human or less whole than the original, which isn't the case as you can see from Borden's point of view when he goes below the stage. He is murdering himself, that is why the whole thing is grotesque: he needed to get his hands dirty, but went way over the line. That's the cost of real magic and why Tesla told him no good would come of it. Angier could never sacrifice himself in the same that the twins did, his ego was too great - in effect he cheated, and of course paid for it psycholigically.
Well put. Angier would not let the other Angier live, cause another Angier could not live with taking the bows from under the stage..

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Location: The White City
Whoa, whoa okay, shouldn't this be in a spoiler tag? I was on the front page of the forum, saw this thread, and if I hadn't seen the film, well look at that, a huge element of the film would've been ruined.

-Vader

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Location: Neo Kobe
I would expect threads in a section about a film I had not seen to be all filled with spoilers. Not sure what moderator thoughts on this would be though.

Posts: 16818
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Location: The White City
Code_R wrote:I would expect threads in a section about a film I had not seen to be all filled with spoilers. Not sure what moderator thoughts on this would be though.
Yes, obviously. Not thread titles. Those exist to show what a thread is about, so if someone hasn't' seen a film yet but pokes around anyway, they won't have film ruined. I.E. if they want to read what we all thought of it quality wise first, etc.

-Vader

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