Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Prestige

The Prestige is one of the best movies of 2006!

I just wanted to get that off my chest. Unfortunately its been over a month since I saw The Prestage so it is not fresh in my mind. I've been too busy with work but finally I have some time off to blog about it.

Hugh Jackman morphs once again. I didn't even know it was him until I checked

But the guy that morphed even more is David Bowie.

I did say to myself "his voice reminds me of David Bowie" but I had no clue it was actually him because he looks nothing like David Bowie. He is great as Nikolas Tesla who is based on a real person who invented the Tesla Coil.

It is super hard to talk about this movie without giving away the triple twist at the end. I never saw it coming. I just want to reveal everything to tell you how brilliant this movie is but it would ruin it for you. You would not have the same experience I did knowing the ending ahead of it.

I can't wait to see this movie a second time because it is a completely different movie once you know the ending. Everything that happens will take on a different meaning. When you first see it, you don't really know what is going on or understand what you see but you don't know it yet. The movie itself is a magic trick.

Here is a quote from the movie: Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The first act is called "The Pledge"; The magician shows you something ordinary, but of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn"; The magician makes his ordinary some thing do something extraordinary. Now if you're looking for the secret... you won't find it, that's why there's a third act called, "The Prestige"; this is the part with the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance, and you see something shocking you've never seen before.

The movie itself follows these three acts.

The movie is about two magicians who compete against each other for the greatest trick except one of them pays Tesla a great deal of money to build a machine that will enable him to do the greatest trick anyone has ever seen. Unfortunately Tesla only gets it working half way. This invention is too great to tell the world. The world is not ready for this discovery. The magician decides to go ahead and use the technology and just deal with the consequences.

The movie is full of so many great actors and the performances are first rate. Scarlett Johansson is amazing as always. I've never been a fan of Michael Caine but he's simply brilliant in this. Christian Bale is great too.

I could not stop thinking about this movie for weeks after I saw it and in fact after doing so much thinking about it I think that I've uncovered a couple of plot holes. I asked myself, if I was in their place what would I do? Would I have the nerve and guts to use this technology to create the greatest trick ever seen?

Spoiler Alert! Continue at your own risk!

I cannot hold it in any longer. It's like knowing some great secret that eats away you until you finally have to tell someone.

The magician Angier pays Tesla to build a transporter. It works half way. It can make a copy but the original remains behind. In other words, it can make an exact copy of anything! The world in the year 2000 is not ready for such a device and certainly not in the year 1900.

Angier wants a trick where he transports himself from the stage to the back of the theater in an instant only its not a trick. It's real! This is Star Trek transporter stuff happening in the year 1900 thanks to the genius of Tesla and his Tesla coils.

We don't find out what the machine does until the end and we also find out that in order to avoid having multiple copies of Angier, a trap door opens and the original Angier falls into a glass cube of water which then seals at the top and he drowns.

The stage hands are all blind and have been trained to store these glass tubes where nobody will find them. Nobody is allowed under the stage to see what happens there.

Put yourself in Angier's shoes. Each night you must commit suicide by drowning and your copy continues living and doing the trick. That part I can believe.

But at the start of the movie, the other magician, Borden, sneaks below stage to see how he does the trick. He finds Angier drowning in the glass cube and tries to rescue him but its too late. The glass and thick and hard to break.

A murder investigation is conducted to figure out who pushed the water tank under the trap door. Borden is the only suspect and is convicted of the murder. We later learn that Angier is still alive and in hiding.

The plot hole I see is that Angier did not know Borden would discover his secret so his copy should have appeared at the back of the theater. How did the copy know to stay in hiding? He could not have known what was going on under the stage.

When I say copy I mean copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, etc. since each time he preformed the trick it was a copy of a copy.

Plot hole number 2: Tesla should have been able to vaporize the original. He had to harness an incredible amount of energy to perform the transport. Seems to me it would be easy to harness enough energy to instantly vaporize the original once the transport was done.


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