Beauty of a Good Script: Nolan’s The Prestige, Watch It Closely Again.

The Prestige Analysis

Read more only if you have seen the film, else come back after watching the film. The post title itself is ‘revisiting a classic’, so kindly excuse me. Definitely this is a film that can be seen more than once.

The Prestige, Christopher Nolan’s visually spectacular mind-twister movie. It is all about, how far one can sacrifice for his obsession, his magic, for the prestige! It provides a fairly absorbing tale of the effect of obsession on one’s mind. The film itself is very clever and well thought out. It is just twist after twist after twist and the film shocks you all the way through. I replayed the whole film, immediately after the first time I finished watching. This same thing happened for another film also, ie Memento. Without any doubt this movie comes in top ten best movies I have ever watched in my lifetime till date. It is a dazzling magic that never stops challenging the audience.

The cleverness of the movie is Nolan’s handling of the non-linear narration. It revolves around two talented magicians who become engaged in a lifelong game of magic and tricks. When the film ends we revisit the movie in our mind and arrange the series of twists, exactly the same way Nolan made us think in his other movies like Memento and Inception as well. The primary thing is that this film demands your attention and concentration, if you give them, it rewards you overwhelmingly.

‘Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”, the second act is called “The Turn” and the third “The Prestige”.’

One small thing I noticed now, when Sarah says she’s pregnant, Borden’s response was “We should have told Fallon”! I should have noticed that in the first point itself – ‘Fallon was actually the father!’ and then again, towards the end before the twist – when Fallon meets Borden in the prison, Borden says “I am sorry for a lot of things. I’m sorry about Sarah”. Classic.

One more, I earlier thought that the Angier is the same all the time. This is something I learned now – Angier’s “The Transported Man” duplicates himself each night, and the duplicated Angier take over memories from the previous Angier. The previous Angier would be killed as the part of the trick. That means the original Angier died during the first performance itself. Oh My God. It was clear but I missed that. I am going back to the movie to find if I have missed something more. The whole film itself was an illusion, which travels through three parts of a good magic!

“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course…it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”

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About the Author

PS Arjun
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Script Writer. Director.

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