The Prestige

In our discussion about The Prestige today in class, I found it unusual that some people did not enjoy the magical addition to the end of this film. Personally, I liked the idea of magic overcoming the boundaries of science. Being the first time I veiwed The Prestige, I expected a magic show. However, what I did not expect is the amount of time the szyuhet spends in explaining how magic is not really magic at all, but just an illusion to the eye. No, I am not naive, and I do know that most magic shows are illusions as well, but I did anticipate being entertained in a magical way. As I mentioned today in class, the development of the szyuhet is choppy, but there are clues that allude to the developing “magicalness”. For instance, when Cutter and the lawyer are walking through a dark hallway, and the lawyer inquires about Angier’s magical box. This means nothing at the beggining of the film, but it plants an important seed that is revisited after Angier’s dealings with Tesler. Making one believe that something like a cloning machine is on the horizon.

In class today, I believe Leslie mentioned how the camera acts like a magic act throughout the film. I think this is a great point because the szyuhet develops through a choppy narrative style. Whether it is the journals, or the love stories, or the illusions themselves, the audience is constantly left in suspense awaiting an answer to “the turn.” One witnesses the importance of this narration through Fallon. He is present in many shots at the begining of the film, but his reality as a Bourdon brother is hidden from the veiwer until the end, when the camera shows how the arrangement to create Fallon works. Capturing the two brothers undress and dress to disguise their appearance, the trick is on the audience because the multiplicity of Angier’s “real magic” has already been explained. This illusion of Fallon is the prestige of the film. No one in the fabula, or in the audience, is aware of Fallon’s identity (in my opinion maybe Cutter) besides the Bourdon brother who survives, and Angier; who is lucky to learn of this trick in his dying moments.     

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