The Prestige

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The Prestige
Review (8.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)


The Prestige refers to one of three acts of a magic trick, with the prestige being the pay-off, the final act. This is explained to us at the beginning of the movie by Mr. Cutter, played by Michael Caine. The Prestige, the movie, is the story of two up-and-coming magicians who are close friends until a tragic event turns them into bitter rivals. Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) is a superior showman while Albert Borden (Christian Bale) is not quite the showman but appears to be the better natural magician. When it comes to magic, appearances can be deceiving. Both men become famous performers on the London theatrical circuit and spend too much time trying to sabotage each others performances, at times to the point where extreme violence ensues. Borden eventually develops a fantastic illusion called "The Transported Man" where he disappears on one side of the stage and simultaneously reappears on the other side. Angier (later known as The Great Danton) drives himself insane trying to figure out "the prestige" of The Transporter Man and even develops his own version in which he uses his superior showmanship to make his show a success. But The Great Danton is not satisfied with his accomplishments and continues to pursue the secrets of Borden, even using his beautiful assistant Olivia (Scarlett Johansson) to seduce his rival. Unfortunately for both men, their bitter rivalry takes them down a road that will only result in disaster and death. The Prestige also stars The Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis and rock and roll legend David Bowie.

Brought to us by director Christopher Nolan, whose other triumphs include Memento and Batman Begins, The Prestige is without a doubt one of the best movies I have seen this year. It does start out a bit slow and it may take a short while to get your bearings and figure out what is going on, but once The Prestige really starts rolling, it's a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the very end. Mind you, the end of the movie may leave you thinking, "Well that was pretty obvious", but I really believe that the ending is so obvious that it's a twist that most viewers may not even consider.

Anyways, I'm not going to get too much into the details of The Prestige. I already feel like I've said too much. It's probably better to go into this movie knowing as little as possible except for just taking my word when I say this is one of the best movies of the year. Great set designs, great story, great directing, very good acting - what more can you ask for? The Prestige is yet another fine piece of cinematic work from Christopher Nolan, who is slowly establishing himself as one of the best talents in Hollywood.

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