The Prestige

[ Trailer ]

Two Victorian age magicians steal each others’ tricks and try to outdo each other in the movie The Prestige. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the story is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Priest. Two friendly magicians Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Borden (Christian Bale) have a falling out after Borden pushes a trick too far and kills Angier’s wife. Angier hires a beautiful assistant named Olivia (Scarlett Johansson) and starts working on some new tricks. Meanwhile, Borden surprises the magic world with a new trick named The Transported Man where he teleports himself across the stage. Angier drives himself crazy trying to understand how Borden is doing this trick. Finally, Angier manages to force Borden to reveal his secret: Tesla. Realizing that Nikola Tesla has built a teleportation device for Borden, Angier travels to the USA and funds Tesla to build such a machine for him. After many failed attempts, Tesla manages to deliver such a machine, but it has a disconcertingly dark side effect which will eventually trouble Angier. Using the machine Angier manages to earn back his fame and send Borden to jail. But, the real secret behind Borden’s The Transported Man trick (no, he wasn’t teleporting) comes back to haunt Angier.

Coming from the director of Memento, a non-linear narration is to be expected in The Prestige. With his flashbacks and flashforwards, Nolan manages to bring interest into the story. He is joined in this venture by Christian Bale and Michael Caine, both of whom acted in his last movie Batman Begins. Bale and Jackman give spirited performances as the 2 main protagonists. Scarlett is um eye-catching. David Bowie gives a (literally) electrifying performance in his brief appearance as the electrical pioneer Nikola Tesla. There are several scenes involving Tesla coils which look uber cool. The famous Tesla-Edison rivalry also makes an appearance. The movie has many neat twists and gotchas. Yet, the big letdown is the story itself, which ends up running out of magic.

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