• James Rutherford

‘The Prestige’: A Brilliant Tale of Illusion, Deception and Darkly Twisted Gamesmanship


Movie poster for the film The Prestige starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale

“The Prestige” (2006) is a thrilling and absorbing psychological suspense film starring Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier and Christian Bale as Alfred Borden, burgeoning illusionists in 1890’s London who become fierce rivals in the high-profile world of professional stage magic.


Following the death of Angier's wife Julia (Piper Perabo) in a stage trick gone horribly awry, Angier places full blame on Borden as the two rise to dual prominence as magicians of repute and expertise. Their rivalry intensifies as they each seek to perfect a seemingly impossible stage illusion known as the “The Transported Man”, entailing human transportation across the breadth of the stage. As they desperately strive to beguile each other as much as their audience members, Angier and Borden soon find themselves traversing increasingly treacherous and grievous terrain, far beyond the boundaries of recourse or atonement.


Co-written and directed by cinematic heavyweight Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight”, “Dunkirk”), “The Prestige” is a boldly captivating period piece that delivers atmosphere, high drama and stunning narrative turns in equal measure. It’s a grand, intricate puzzle of a film, whose final revelations come with outright astonishment—invariably demanding repeat viewing. Utterly staggering in its full actualization, this is one film that will bewilder and haunt you long after the final credits have rolled.

 

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