Better on a second viewing

The 2006 film about rival magicians desperately trying to learn the secrets of each others tricks.
User avatar
Forum Pro
Posts: 2885
Joined: January 2009
Yesterday I re-watched Prestige after a long time. I saw it for the 5th or 6th time, I think, and I liked it so much :D It's weird but I think I never understood the movie this much until now.

User avatar
Forum Pro
Posts: 2885
Joined: January 2009
Oh, and another thing. I noticed that Nolan made a reference in this film about The Dark Knight! :D

In one scene a character (I think Cutter but I can't remember) mentions the Moscow Ballet. Could this be a direct reference to his upcoming film, the TDK? :D

User avatar
Posts: 2281
Joined: July 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
The Prestige definitely opens itself up for multiple viewings to really challenge yourself. After realizing that Alfred
has a twin brother, I watched it again and tried to spot which brother is in which scene.
I have to marvel at Christian Bale in the film, he magnificently manages to play
two characters, who, upon the first viewing appear to be the same person, but on separate viewings have subtle differences between them. One brother is calm and planning while one is hot-tempered and brash.
I suggest you give it a try!

User avatar
Forum Pro
Posts: 2885
Joined: January 2009
I did the same thing, and I realized that
the only real protagonist in the film is the twin brother who loved Sarah and had a children. He is romantic and he acts more like a grown up than his brother who is - as you said - hot-tempered and more obsessed with his profession.

User avatar
Posts: 2281
Joined: July 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
DHOPW42 wrote:I did the same thing, and I realized that
the only real protagonist in the film is the twin brother who loved Sarah and had a children. He is romantic and he acts more like a grown up than his brother who is - as you said - hot-tempered and more obsessed with his profession.

That's true.
The more reserved brother is more level-headed and really is the only protagonist in the film, you can also count Cutter's character as well. Both of them realize the dangers of obsession and choose not to pursue it. The hot-tempered brother gives into his obsession. The impulsive brother is also the better magician, I believe he was the one who was able to figure out the Chinese magician's trick. Angier is the better showman, this is shown recurrently through the film where Alfred is not able to "dress-up" his tricks to be more entertaining.

I actually have a theory that it was the impulsive brother who aided in beginning and fueling the rivalry. I believe the calmer brother was not as prominent in the rivalry between them as he was more interested in his family and his career.

User avatar
Forum Pro
Posts: 2885
Joined: January 2009
There's one thing I don't understand.

There's that scene where Angier sees Borden performing The Transported Man the first time. The screen cuts to Angier telling Olivia what he saw, then it cuts to Borden doing his trick, this goes on and on, and at the end of the scene we see Cutter sitting and watching Borden's show. Then we hear the popping rubberball, but we don't see what happens on the stage. Why is that? What exactly happened there?

Angier says that it's the best magic trick he has ever seen, so it's clear that Borden performed it perfectly, but why can't we see that? Why do we have to see Cutter and hear the rubberball instead of watching Borden coming out of the other wardrobe? Does it have any significance anyway?

User avatar
Posts: 1883
Joined: March 2009
Location: Leiden
I believe Nolan did that to create a mystery around the trick. We know what happend, but didn't see it good for our own. In this way, not only the character in the movie, but also the viewers of the movie begin to wonder how he managed to do that.
We are just as surprised as Angier.
David emerges from the store slowly. He braces himself against a parked car and then keeps on walking in a nightmarish daze.

WE PULL BACK as David blends in with dozens and dozens of ordinary people, walking on an ordinary street, in an ordinary city.

User avatar
Posts: 2281
Joined: July 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
It is definitely odd that Nolan didn't show the actual trick until much later, but I think there are several reasons behind this. I think it reflects on Cutter's monologue at the end of the film, about how the audience WANTS to be fooled.

Angier is in awe saying that it's the best trick he's ever seen but the audience is shown to be quite unenthusiastic. This kind of creates a dialectic where one character is astounded but everyone else is unintersted. We WANT to know what the trick was, but we DO know what the trick is. We kind of fill in the blanks about the nature of the trick ourselves after we see Angier trying to duplicate it and through other factors.

When I first watched it, I immedietly thought that he must have appeared on the other side, even though it wasn't shown.

Posts: 2512
Joined: November 2009
Everytime when i watch the movie i found out more things,that's so good about the movie.

User avatar
Posts: 3728
Joined: August 2009
Location: a galaxy far far away
After realizing that Alfred
has a twin brother, I watched it again and tried to spot which brother is in which scene.
I have to marvel at Christian Bale in the film, he magnificently manages to play
two characters, who, upon the first viewing appear to be the same person, but on separate viewings have subtle differences between them. One brother is calm and planning while one is hot-tempered and brash.

I started to do that when I bought the DVD and it's amazing what Christian Bale do with both characters. Now, everytime that I watch the movie I can't ignore the differences between the two brothers.

Post Reply