The Asheville School's Voice

Prestige Review

March 31, 2018

Synopsis: The Prestige is set in London in the early 1900’s. The story follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, a pair of young magicians. When a trick gone wrong leads to the death of Angier’s wife, the two become bitter rivals. Angier and Borden spend years locked in a constant battle of wits and tricks, each trying desperately to assert himself as the best magician.

Review: The Prestige is simply a fantastic film. All of the actors are brilliant and embody their characters perfectly. I especially have to give props to Jackman and Caine, whose on-screen chemistry gives the film both its lightest and its darkest moments. Bale’s performance was a bit underwhelming given his other roles, but it is still impressive considering how early this was in his career. The style of filmmaking meshes flawlessly with the subject matter, as Nolan brings his signature mix of blockbuster spectacle and thought-provoking subtext. The only aspect of this film that I can criticize is the narrative. While the story is great on paper, much like many of Nolan’s films, the movie jumps around in time, which makes it difficult to keep track of what is happening. The other problem I have is with the ending. The finale of the film is good overall, but the final twist mainly serves to shock, and doesn’t actually mean much for the story as a whole. The Prestige definitely requires a second viewing to be completely understood. That said, I wouldn’t consider a re-watch to be a burden. The Prestige is an amazing piece of cinema, and the constant twists and turns of the plot will keep you coming back for more.

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