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THE PRESTIGE

THE PRESTIGE-United States/United Kingdom-2006

Note: For reasons known only to WordPress, I cannot list the actor’s name below the photos as I normally do. Hopefully this will soon be resolved; but until then here are the actors’ names and the names of the characters that they portray listed below.

Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier

Christian Bale as Alfred Borden

Michael Caine as Cutter

Scarlett Johansson as Olivia Wenscombe

Piper Perabo as Julia McCullough

Andy Serkis as Alley

Rebecca Hall as Sarah Borden

David Bowie as Nikola Tesla

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Screenplay by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan

Based on the novel by Christopher Priest

I’m going to be honest with you; I had no intention of even reviewing this movie. I was just going to sit back, munch on popcorn and draw from the well known as Natural Light and just enjoy this movie for what it is, a damn good movie. But then that all too familiar bug bit me on my ass; and I began to think about the film in terms of the subject of my next post. So, here I am once again. I think the reason I feel so compelled to review this is that it is such a compelling film to begin with. This may sound strange, but The Prestige made me think of the Spy vs. Spy stories that were so prominently featured in each and every issue of  Mad magazine. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are rival magicians, once friends, but now bitter enemies after a tragic accident occurs during an illusion that they’re assisting with. After that, their lives become a maze of deception and sabotage as each tries to ruin the others life and career. Ah, but there is much more. The tagline of this film is “Are you watching closely?”, and though not as intricately woven as his earlier film, Memento, The Prestige is still a film that one can easily see requires repeated viewing. I followed along with the plot of the film fairly well, but I still found myself scratching my head when it was over. At the beginning, Michael Caine narrates about the three components of a successful magic trick. They are The Pledge, in which the magician shows us something ordinary; The Turn, in which the magician makes the ordinary ‘extraordinary’; but make something disappear and you have to bring it back. That final component is known as the Prestige. Watching the film, from start to finish, I realized that the entire story was just that: Pledge, Turn, and Prestige.

Christopher Nolan is fast becoming one of my favorite directors. His work has become consistent with that of an intriguing story with meticulous attention to detail and a plot that reaches far beyond what we see the first time we watch. With that last statement said I can assure you that The Prestige is no exception.

TRIVIA

The main characters’ initials spell ABRA (Alfred Borden Robert Angier), as in Abracadabra, a common word used by magicians.
 
 Christopher Priest created the “Langford Double Knot” for the original novel as a tribute to his friend and business partner, the author David Langford.
 
Sam Mendes had shown interest in adapting Christopher Priest’s novel for the big-screen, but Priest insisted that Christopher Nolan direct the film, based on his love for both Following and Memento.
 
Root, the on-stage double of Angier (Hugh Jackman), announces that he has played Faust and Caesar in the past. Both were famously portrayed on stage as men destroyed by their own ambition, as Angier eventually is.
 
½
 
 
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