Friday, January 19, 2007 | 4:02 pm

With my bloggin' hiatus of late last year, I left a few "movie threads" open, and indeed have a couple films I dearly loved that I want to discuss here. First up is The Prestige. Schocho highly recommended it against my previous inquiry on the subject, so needing no more proof than the raving attestations of the C-Man, the Gorgeous Wife and I took a quick walk to the local to check it out.

Holy crap, loved it.

Any movie that gets you thinking for 2 hours afterwards is a good thing in these jaded days of "movies that wash over you". Not only did we discuss/argue some salient points afterwards, I have so far found that the few people I have chatted to about the movie seem to have drawn slightly different conclusions.

Expect MAJOR SPOILERS below, and avert thine eyes... although you should have seen this by now. :P

Michael Caine, The Prestige
Seeing this movie, doesn't guarantee you will see the light.

Argument #1 was over whether or not Borden's (Christian Bale's character) accomplice is a twin, or a "Tesla-copy". My mate maintains it was a copy from when he saw the machine at the World Fair, and I have seen some arguments online suggesting that this is the only explanation for two men having the same zeal for the art of magic, they were the same man.

I poo-poo that idea. No-one knew the machine worked as it did, and if Borden knew that, he never would have sent Angiers on what he thought was a goose-chase to Tesla, and it ignores all the hints that the simplest explanation is the right one, and all the wife's hints that Borden is sometimes not in love.

Basically, was the death of Julia a twin mix-up, cause one-twin missed Cutter's conversation about it swelling under water? It would explain the great line at her funeral in response to being asked which knot he tied, Borden says "I keep asking myself that". But, there is nothing to suggest the twin exists at this stage, since Borden doesn't have his "helper" around in this part of the movie, only appearing when he goes solo. A reviewing of the movie would probably help solve that one.

The movie suggests that Cutter didn't really catch on until Angier revealed the machine/tanks to him he looks surprised, but catches on pretty fast throwing in the jab about drowning being agony. But then somewhere between this scene and the one prior where Cutter meets Angier at the house (and realizing he was the mysterious Lord Caldow), Cutter works out enough to realize he isn't happy with Angiers, and tips Borden #2 off as to the final location. Was this only because Cutter was unhappy about the child? Remember, the final scene suggests that Cutter didn't realize Borden was a twin either until after all that played out.

The theories get even wilder than that on IMDB forums, including that one of the Bordens killed his wife cause she was getting close to working it all out (thus the gallows line "Sorry about Sarah"), and an existential argument claiming that the "ultimate prestige" is that the Tesla machine didn't work at all, and it was all done with Angier's actor-double. I'll leave that one to the frenzied.

Congratulations Chris Nolan. You may have managed to create even more of a mind-bender than Memento.



At 22/1/07 9:33 pm, Blogger Shocho said...

Damn, I need to see this movie again!

At 23/1/07 1:39 pm, Blogger Aussie-Askew said...

We're planning a video night (I still call them video nights, even though they aren't) with the people we argued with.
I'm calling it "dinner, a movie & an argument".

At 10/2/07 2:47 am, Blogger Mkae said...

I liked it, but I thought the sci-fi element was really out of place. The previews lead you to believe that Bale's character really has the ability to do magic. He turns out to be nothing more than a phony, whereas Jackman's character was utilizing science fiction. Bizarre.

At 13/2/07 10:44 am, Blogger Aussie-Askew said...

So real magic would have been more realistic Mkae? ;)

That didn't really worry me... they went to a lot of effort to work it in around the mysterious character of Tesla.

And isn't there some quote about science being like magic to people who don't understand the technology? (e.g. Macs ;)


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