1. The layer of the story ~ Watching the movie is like climbing up the stairs. The story goes step by step in climatic way. It's very interesting to watch and intriguing to wait what will happen next.
2. The development of the character ~ The most interesting part of the movie. This is the story about magicians Robert Angier and Alfred Borden that once were friends, and because of one fateful event, they became rivals and obsessed to beat and destroy each other. At first, maybe audience (in this case myself) will feel sympathy for Angeir's character, because he was the victim, and Borden was the villain that caused the death of Angier's wife. But as the story goes, and the characters develop, I don't root on him again, he showed more obsession than just revenge for his wife, his all motivation was just to beat Borden in whatever he did. And so is Borden. They both are flawed. I love how the rivalry goes darker and darker into their obsession. I change my support for the character many times, as they seem to top each other so many many times. But then i realized they're just perfectly equal. Just like Olivia said to Borden as she left him, just like the other people that just can't keep up their obsessive rivalry: "you deserve each other"
3. The plot ~ The movie starts with "near ending" scene, and then goes backward from the start to the "near ending" point at the beginning, and reveals the final twist in the end. Before that, the audiences may have guessed so many conclusions before knowing the real twists are. Yes, there are twist after twist! I love how it surprises me so many time. Excellent!
4. The casts ~ Christian Bale vs Hugh Jackman. And they're just a perfect match on this. All the rest of the casts also brilliantly played. The visual is beautiful and this is a well made movie.
5. The tragic message and shocking end ~ At the beginning of the movie, Angier and Borden reveal the secret the Chinese magician. How he sacrifices his whole life pretending to be frail in public to hide the goldfish bowl beneath his legs just to able to perform his magic trick.
This is like a teaser to the whole story. How far one can sacrifice for his obsession, his magic, for the prestige! The point of this movie is a great sacrifice. In the end, when they both confess each other's secret, i was contemplating when the movie ended. How far one can go for their obsession. It's quite disturbing to think about what they have done to their own life. It's the movie that will make you think after watching.
Seriously, if you still haven't watched it, you have to give it a try!
PS: Don't root to one character, some people I know hate this movie because the character they root for is lost in the end. Well, just like i said they're both flawed and lost great time in the end. Be objective and you can see this is a great masterpiece and the ending is just equal and fair.