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Editing Project

There was a fair bit of debate in the class blogs about who is the protagonist of The Prestige.  People made good arguments for both Angier and Borden, but we never really dove into the fact that there were two, very distinct Bordens.  Christian Bale’s performance is different depending on which Borden is on screen, to the point that you can make a pretty strong guess as to which one is in every scene.  Upon subsequent viewings of the film, it becomes obvious that the Borden who is in love with Sarah is depicted in a more sympathetic light.  We see their courtship from the beginning, and we’re privy to the endearing moments that built their affection—the awkwardly cute goodbye after their first date, their genuine joy around their baby, the moments when Borden means his statement of love, etc.  By contrast, the other Borden’s courtship of Olivia is summarized briefly, always with the undercurrent of her relationship to Angier and suggestions of his infidelity (before you know there are two Bordens) to undermine its charm.  Additionally, it is Sarah’s Borden that survives to raise his daughter.  Olivia’s Borden issues a heartfelt goodbye before he is ushered off to his execution, apologizing for his tumultuous interactions with Sarah and urging the surviving twin to live for both of them.  The situation isn’t really the dying Borden’s fault—what if he had met and married a woman first, would the other Borden have been able to handle an imposed wife any better?  However, the fact that Olivia’s Borden accepts blame makes it easy for the audience to go along with it and absolve the surviving Borden of any guilt.

Our video re-edit seeks to highlight the difference between the two Bordens and develop them as separate characters.  In constructing our project, Sarah really came to the center of things—she becomes the context in which we distinguish the two Bordens, and our piece is structured around her tragic demise.  In looking at our final video, you could make a pretty strong argument that Sarah is the protagonist, at least from a sympathy point of view—by no fault of her own, she ends up the victim of both men’s lying manipulation.  It’ll be interesting to hear what you all think.

Here it is.

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