THE PRESTIGE DVD
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By Melissa Walters
Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are friends united by their passion for magic until a magic trick goes tragically wrong. Angier, holding a grudge against Borden after the loss of his wife (Piper Perabo), sets forth to destroy the professional and personal happiness that Borden has achieved. Despite the presumed disadvantage occasioned by Borden’s newly acquired disability inflicted by the depravity of Angier, Angier cannot get ahead. No matter the professional accomplishments Angier achieves, Borden manages to out do him.
The rivalry comes to a head when Angier valiantly endeavors to discover the secrets behind Borden’s most successful magic trick. His quest leads him to Nicola Tesla (David Bowie), a reclusive scientist who Angier commissions to create a box that will enable him to transport his person across space in record time. With the help of his new toy Angier hatches a plan that will not only earn him the honor of the prestige, but will exact a deserving revenge upon his rival. Just when it appears that Angier will succeed, Borden again manages a feat worthy of the honor of the prestige, notwithstanding the ultimate revelation that the feat has no basis in magic at all.
Christopher Nolan, the writer and director of Batman Begins, weaves a dark, complex and needlessly protracted tale of one upmanship. Save for its Oscar nominated cinematography, convincing performances by Bale, Jackman and Michael Caine, as the magicians’ mentor, and impressive performances by the supporting cast including Rebecca Hall as Borden’s tormented wife and Scarlett Johansson as the tempestuous mistress, the film’s never ending bobs and weaves were at times downright frustrating. Not to mention that the film’s transition into the realm of science fiction was unbefitting a period film. As a film about sadistic obsession, this film succeeds. However, for a film about the wonders of magic, try Neil Burger’s The Illusionist.
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