The Prestige Analysis

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Some competitors enjoy the thrill of winning, while others take the competition to the extreme, risking not only their lives but also others. Set in nineteenth-century London, The Prestige, directed by Christopher Nolan, characterizes the struggle for domination between two illusionists, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). Angier blames Borden for his wife’s death, and, since then, the two engaged in a never-ending sabotage of each other’s magic tricks. An adaptation of the 1995 British novel, The Prestige, by Christopher Priest, the title came from the fictional practice of stage illusions, which had three basic parts that John Cutter identified in the beginning of the film: (1) the set-up (pledge), (2) the performance…show more content…
Since 2001, Christopher and Jonathan collaborated on working on the script and deliberately followed the three-part structure of stage magic. In 2003, Nolan wanted to direct the film before the production of Batman Begins became more demanding. However, only in 2005 was Nolan able to focus on The Prestige and negotiated the main roles with Jackman and Bale. Nolan brothers explained the long duration of the writing process: they wanted “to reshape the form of their screenplay to the thematic structure of the book in a bid to become the cinematic embodiment of the magic trade’s core principles” (Beyl). Finding a way to fit the thematic structure of the novel into the film was so significantly difficult that the brothers finished the final shooting script merely three days before production began (Harvey; Beyl). The shooting started in January 2006 and ended in April 2006 with a budget of $40…show more content…
First, I loved how Nolan injected the three parts of an illusion from the novel into the film, yet he also de-structured it by starting media res. The Illusion and Scoop have good structures as well but The Prestige is more interesting due to the theme of magic or illusion that is embedded within the plot’s layout and the characters. Changing the sequence of the story underlines the intricacy of intertwined human narratives. Borden is not one but two in the same way that Angier performed several lives. Additionally, the illusion is simpler in The Illusion and Scoop with motives of politics/love and murder, respectively. The Prestige offers a darker illusion. Angier and Borden transformed magic into a sophisticated and bloody game through violent sabotages. Also, while their rivalry drove their innovations, Angier’s ambition changed him into a vengeful, power-hungry (literally and figuratively) immoral man. If only he forgave Borden for his indirect participation in his wife’s death, then they would have had a peaceful life and Borden’s twin would have still been alive. Second, Nolan played the illusion of linearity well that I felt was missing in The Illusion and Scoop. The prestige is not in Borden losing the game to Angier after the latter dies, which the beginning of the film
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