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Depicting the story of two magicians, who develop a rivalry that eventually turns out into a true war, "The Prestige" is a movie that keeps you connected all throughout its two hours. Some people said about it that sometimes the action tends to be boring, but I consider exactly the opposite: I didn't have the time to get bored, due to the very well-written story. The actors are amazing: Hugh Jackman - charming yet sometimes scary, as we know him, and Christan Bale, more lively but equally "strong" as in Batman Begins, are the two rival magicians. Their act is sustained by Michael Caine, as their mentor, and Scarlett Johansson. I didn't go to this movie expecting much, but after having seen it, I can say without any doubt that this is one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time, and I strongly recommend it. It's a film to savor and to feel (and eventually maybe to love)!
Christopher Nolan's The Prestige tells the story of two rival
magicians, Borden (Bale) and Angier (Jackman). The two battle over
deceiving and outsmarting each other as they try to be the better
magician. Spanning several years and often jumping backwards and
forwards in time, The Prestige is a beautiful, brooding tale about
obsession and how far it can and shouldn't go.
Being one of Christopher Nolan's more modest films (being made between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and on nowhere near a larger scale), The Prestige is one of those films that only those who pay attention understand it's true greatness. With a typical Nolan-esque cast (Christian Bale, Michael Caine ), the film is setup for quality cinema and does not disappoint. From start to finish you are fixated and deprived of attachment to the world around you much like Borden and Angier as you too do not want to miss any of the films trickery.
One of the best things I like about The Prestige is how it deceives the viewer just as a magician would to their own audience. 'Are you watching closely?' a line which is repeated throughout The Prestige hints at the films very own nature. 'You want to be fooled," the last lines of the film as uttered by the legendary Michael Caine, leave the viewer in a bewildered state as they reconsider what they have just seen.
The cinematography is grand. DOP Wally Pfister who has worked on all of Nolan's films I believe, deserves just as much credit as the director himself. From the dark and electrifying theaters to the eerie Colorado Mountains, The Prestige looks fantastic.
Having seen the film several times and enjoyed each viewing as much as the next, The Prestige continues to amaze me. It truly is a mesmerizing and brilliant film which just cannot go unseen by anyone.
One of my most favourite films ever; 'The Prestige' is Christopher
Nolan's most fascinating and engrossing film to date, pipping 'Memento'
and 'Dark Knight', for me. The story of two rival magicians with a
tragic history linking them, trying to outshine one another and the
mysteries surrounding makes the premise of a magical two hour
There ARE holes in this movie and the story is not as compact as some other Nolan films; having a few weak moments. But this is where the genius of Nolan comes in - he makes it work completely, despite those problems - which is why I rate this movie as one of his best directed films.
This film doesn't have the heavy-handedness of 'Inception' (which is overrated IMO), isn't too clever for its own good (again, like 'Inception' and 'Memento' to an extend though I think the latter is Nolan's strongest in terms of sheer narrative brilliance)or the slightly impersonal feel of 'Insomnia' (a great film nonetheless; an underrated Nolan film I think). It is, in my opinion, the right mix of entertainment and quality. You will just not get bored with this film - in fact, I was left wanting more!
The acting in the film is flawless and is what makes the film such a compelling watch. The entire cast is brilliant, without exception, from Rebecca Hall to Scarlett Johansson to Michael Caine. As the two rival protagonist magicians, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman seem to go one better that the other with each passing scene. Ultimately, it is Jackman who shines more as Robert Angier though. As the mentally distraught, obsessive but consummate showman, he pretty much steals the show from perhaps an actor who may, in retrospect, be superior in sheer acting quality.
In a nutshell, 'The Prestige' is unlike any other Nolan movie. The sheer "watchability" value of 'The Prestige' beats the other Nolan movies blue and black. I have watched it four times completely; I enjoy it more and more each time. Without doubt, my favourite Nolan movie.
Watch it; it is truly magical.
If you didn't enjoy this film, well. You, I am afraid to say, have no
taste in films whatsoever.
I see people moaning about how they didn't understand the plot and how it was boring for them, that would probably be because you didn't WATCH the movie properly. It tells you from the very beginning to watch closely because this is a film that requires your full attention to understand and you will be well rewarded if you do. If not, you become one of those commenting with "I don't understand, omg it's such a bad film because I don't get it."
The acting is amazing and the twist at the end of the film is not something that I saw coming. At times it is a little predictable, but all films have their moments and it certainly doesn't take away from the magic that it brings to the audience member.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this movie about rival magicians in the turn of the century, the
real magic is not found in the character's shows, but in the plot
twists that director Christopher Nolan comes up with. Throughout the
whole movie, the audience is taken on a blind roller coaster ride of
things no one saw coming, yet somehow Nolan makes it work to where
everything makes sense in the end. Along with great mystery that always
keeps everyone guessing how the puzzle pieces of the movie fit
together, the detailed cinematography of the secret behind early magic
and interesting historic fiction of Nikola Tesla versus Thomas Edison
add to the traction the film has with the audience. You will be left
blown away at the brilliance behind this masterpiece and be craving
more when it is over and done.
When the first scene opens, the "ingeniuer" John Cutter explains the three parts of a magic trick; "the pledge," "the turn," and "the prestige." These three components run how the movie plays out, unfolding as sort of a magic trick inside of a movie about magic. Robert Angier and Alfred Borden play two embittered magicians, sabotaging each other's magic performances ever since Borden inadvertently killed Angier's wife while she was performing a water escape routine. Angier realizes Borden has a better trick than he when he unveils "The Transporting Man," a trick in which he teleports between two cabinets. So the struggle of trying to outdo him as a magician turns this once harmless art (or "the pledge") into an obsession for Angier. The dark turn Angier takes in trying to be better makes the audiences lose what sympathy they had for him after losing his wife. Nolan turns the once protagonist into the antagonist as Angier begins to try and ruin Borden's life, including his family.
Angier spends countless dollars and travels around the world looking for a way to beat Borden's trick. His travels lead him to Nikola Tesla, a non fictional character who was an inventor in the U.S. Angier convinces Tesla to build him a machine which has an unknown affect on Angier. The film does well in keeping the purpose behind the machine secret, hinting at what it does, but never really telling you. This adds to the secrecy of what is truly going on in the movie, with what the audience seeing only scratching the surface of what is really going on. As Angier descends more into his mania, Borden is frustrated that Angier has come up with a much better transporting trick than his own, goes to investigate Angier's secret. What he finds is when Angier steps into the machine, he falls into a locked water box and drowns; Borden is convicted of Angier's death and is sentenced to death. But, in another turn of events, Angier is revealed to be alive, taking Borden's daughter into his own custody. This leaves no more feelings of kindness towards Angier as he lets an innocent man hang and takes his daughter. It is revealed that Tesla's machine makes exact copies of people, which Angier has killed every night after his show in the water box. Borden is hanged, becoming "the turn" as he seems to disappear from Angier's problems. At this point the movie should be over, Angier has won and taken his malicious revenge, but it doesn't end. No, Nolan decides to break out "the prestige," filling the audience with gasps and having their jaws hit the floor as Borden returns and shoots Angier. Throughout the entire movie, Borden has had a twin brother who has switched places with him with the other turning into Borden's assistant. The entire motion picture has been two plots at once, an amazing showmanship of mystique of the behalf of the director.
The Prestige is a wonderfully dark movie of deception, obsession, and revenge. All of these things mixed with the secrets of magic make the entire film a trick, a mind game that twists the watcher's imagination. In the end, the audience in both the movie and those watching the movie are fooled into thinking things could be so simple.
Watching a movie ten times is stupid. Unless, of course, that movie is The Prestige. When my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to watch it again, I was more than happy to acquiesce. You may be wondering how someone's attention could be held after watching a movie so many times. It can be summed up, quite simply, by the fact that Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director. He manages to take a movie that has one of the most simple themes and build an intricate plot around it. The movie focuses on the competition between two magicians as they each strive for supreme success. Along the way, they each face the hardships of death and the slow decline into obsession with their work. In one of the most influential scenes of the movie, one of the characters is begged to give up his quest for greatness because it will only bring him sorrow. He, of course, does not heed this warning, but I will not go deeper into that to avoid spoilers. Along with the way Christopher Nolan developed a brilliant plot, he did an incredible job of casting his roles. Hugh Jackman plays one of the magicians, Robert Angier, and Christian Bale was cast as his competitor, Alfred Borden. Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, and David Bowie each contribute vital side characters and stories. Ultimately, this movie was created to get your mind thinking in ways that are very far outside of the box. There are some supernatural events, yet it is easy to relate to certain characters in the film. One of my girlfriend's complaints was that she did not know who she was supposed to like in the movie, but I think that was Nolan's purpose. He wanted the viewer to look at the film from all perspectives and not be fixated on just one of them. I don't even like writing a review for this movie because it is one that almost needs to be entered with a completely open mind.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is seriously the best movie you will ever see. By far, both Hugh
Jackmans and Christian Bales best ever performance.
I was on the edge of by seat the whole time. It is a dark and mysterious movie that draws your attention and is very intriguing. It may appear hard to comprehend but the whole movie is tied together in the final chapter and it is at that moment when you truly realize what an amazing movie this is.
Possibly the best Christopher Nolan movie yet!! He employs many disturbing and emotive scenes to highlight the instability of the human nature. This movie has gone way under the radar. This deserves to be up their with the very best and beyond.
I am not a fan on the average movie that entails little action scenes or movies that appear to take time to unravel, but this blew me away. It gets into your head and messes around. I watched this and for 4 days it was all I can think about! an absolutely amazing art work.
10 out of 10. Enjoy!
The movie is astonishingly good. It kept me on the edge of my seat the
whole time guessing what was behind this "Transported Man" trick. I had
my own guess, but it turns out I was fooled along with others. The plot
is very sophisticated, almost flawless and with the appropriately woven
science-fiction scenes. 19th century London being on the edge of new
"electrified" era was shown perfectly well, all the costumes matched
the time, as well as the exteriors. The actors did a good job depicting
their characters, especially I would like to point out the performance
of Christian Bale.
The movie is fully complete, doesn't require a sequel. Such movies are a very rare thing and are definitely must-watch!
10 out of 10!
What sets Nolan and this film apart is the content of this film, not
the acting (the only weakness being the Scarlett Johannsons accent,
which is easily overlooked) and not even so much the story (which is
also quite good). The story is okay, but what really took my breath
away was the atmosphere (much like in Memento). He creates the perfect
atmosphere for his movies, his style is brilliant. The shots are just
gorgeous. In my opinion he is leading the charge in giving movie-goers
a different experience; watching a Christopher Nolan film is a hugely
different and a much more absorbing experience than nearly any other
director. Well, for me anyway, obviously the experience is a hugely
This film is special. There are no real good guys, no real bad guys, just human struggles with that hedging of the supernatural that really gets you thinking. His films are not perfect in that they don't fit molds or answer all the questions. That is what makes this film special, it draws you in and really makes you question things; important things.
However, the important thing is that it is a truly absorbing experience, what more can you ask of a film?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think this is one of the all time best movies. I just happened to see
it recently after I saw the first two of the Batman trilogy to
understand the third, after I saw what Christopher Nolan had done with
the Batman Trilogy! To remember each detail, to connect it so
exquisitely, to utilize each character so perfectly, to show vengeance
and yet to show humanity through vengeance and to create the
sitting-on- the-edge-of-the-seat experience, is an act of genius.
Be it the main stars Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, the ever-brilliant Michael Caine, Rebecca Hall, Scarlet Johansson, and Piper Perabo or be it somebody like David Bowie or Andy Serkis, the utilization of the role and portrayal of emotions be it anger, love, joy, intimacy or humanity is brilliantly crafted.
Each twist is beautifully crafted delving into the details but not over doing. Although the story constantly switches between present and the past, the viewer is never lost as Christopher Nolan puts it all together so exceptionally well.
The entire movie is built around the cool, composed but wizard-type portrayal of Christian Bale vs a 'plagiaristic' Hugh Jackman with the pure obsession of being the best and to do it the villainous way.
Too bad that nobody won Oscar for this movie. But 2006 had some really classic movies. The Prestige is a must-watch!
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