P: The Prestige #AToZChallenge


Movie Name: The Prestige
Language: English
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Christopher Nolan
Year Of Release: 2006

What it is about:


Set in London in the 1890s, Robert Angier and Alfred Borden work as shills for Milton the Magician, alongside stage engineer, Cutter. When an trick goes wrong and Angier loses his wife because of Borden's mistake, he develops a grudge against him. Angier and Borden part ways and launch their own solo magic careers. However, they both work to sabotage each other's acts. Borden develops a trick he calls "The Transported Man", where he instantly travels between two wardrobes on opposite ends of a stage. The trick is a huge hit and baffles Angier who swears to steal the secret. When Angier kidnaps and buries Borden's stage engineer, Fallon, he is forced to give the secret to Angier. This brings Angier to America to meet Nikola Tesla and he asks the great scientist to build him a machine that will help him with his trick. While Tesla does build him a machine, it does not work the way it is expected to and every use of the machine is a gamble. Armed with it, Angier returns to London.

Back in London, Borden, who has now lost his wife and mistress, decides to go watch Angier's new trick "The Real Transported Man". Baffled by it, he sneaks backstage and finds Angier drowning in a water tank. Unable to open the trapdoor, Borden watches Angier drown as Cutter witnesses the scene. Borden is arrested and charged with his murder and is sentenced to death, leaving behind his daughter Jess and his engineer, Fallon. In prison, Borden is visited by an agent of a Lord Caldlow, who offers to care for Borden's daughter Jess in exchange for all of Borden's tricks. He agrees to the terms and surrenders all his secrets. Soon, Lord Caldlow visits Borden, just before he's to be hanged.

What happens to Borden now? Who is this Lord Caldlow and why does he want to help Borden? And what about the machine that Tesla created?

What I loved about it:

This was the first ever Nolan movie that I watched and I was a fan for life after that. Everything about this movie is perfect. Yes, I'm using the P word here. Every scene, every dialogue, every prop used, every look, the cast, the magic, it all falls into place perfectly. The story is based on Christopher Priest's 1995 novel, The Prestige. I haven't read the book and I never will. The movie is so perfect in my mind that I do not want to taint it. Hugh Jackman is brilliant as Angier, the polished, sophisticated showman. As is Christian Bale as Borden, the street magician. The rivalry between Angier and Borden dominates the film. Obsession, secrecy, and sacrifice fuel the battle, as both magicians contribute their fair share to a deadly duel of one-upmanship, with disastrous results. They gamble with their women, their lives and everything they have to one up the other. You don't know whom you are rooting for, but in the end you want both of them to win.


The concept of the movie is beyond brilliant and so is its execution. While magic remains the soul of the movie, the two magicians add their own magic to every scene. Michael Caine as Cutter is a great addition as he supports the two magicians one after the other. Scarlett Johansson impresses in her brief role. No matter how many times I watch this movie, every time I feel different things. The only constant emotion is awe. The story is so damn good, and the cast is even more awesome. There is magic in every frame, but it sure takes a magician to extract it all. Nolan is the master of that.

Watch this movie to know what sheer brilliance truly means.

Runners-up: The Pursuit Of Happyness (English), P.S I Love You (English).

This post is a part of the A To Z Challenge for April, where my theme for this year is Movies I Love.


8 comments:

  1. This was one awesome movie and I just couldnt guess the secret behind the transported man trick.. Never read the book though, but the movie was gripping!

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    1. I had to watch this one a couple of times to understand it.

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  2. I love all three men - Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine! Will check it out!
    Thanks Soumya! :)

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    1. And what a delightful combo they make in this one :)

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  3. I do remember watching it once though it didnt hold much sway with me. I got bored I think and switched off midway. You make it sound superbly interesting Soumya; maybe I should watch it again.

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    1. You got bored watching 'The Prestige'? I'm trying not to judge you :P

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  4. Sounds very fascinating and intriguing. Would keep an eye on this one on TV or Netflix!

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    1. Do not miss this, Shilpa! You will love it.

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