Hidden Meaning in THE PRESTIGE – Earthling Cinema

Hidden Meaning in THE PRESTIGE – Earthling Cinema

Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid This week’s
artifact is The Prestige, starring Huey Lewis and the Newsie, and directed by neither of
them. The film tells the story of Angier and Borden,
two Earth shamans who become rivals over a simple misunderstanding about whether Angier’s
wife should be alive or not. They take turns injuring each other’s frail
mortal bodies and snooping in each other’s diaries for hot smut. When Angier finds out Borden has a new incantation
called The Trans Man, he becomes obsessed with finding out how it all works, without,
you know, sticking his foot in his mouth. He tries using a double he conveniently finds
wandering around ten feet outside the building, but the double soon finds he has more of a
passion for trapeze. So Angier kidnaps Fallon, Borden’s assistant
who never speaks and whose face we never see clearly, somehow without ever looking at his
face or talking to him. Borden relents and gives him a clue: the Tesla
Model 3. So Angier drives his affordable yet stylish
electric car across the ocean to America to find Nicholas Tesla and bully him into building
a transmogrification machine. Angier successfully uses the machine and becomes
the biggest hippo on campus, and that makes Borden a very sad hippo.
A very sad hippo indeed. Michael Caine is in this movie, in case that
wasn’t clear. Borden sneaks backstage to investigate, only
to find Angier stupidly drowning in a water tank like some sort of non-amphibious mammal. Borden is arrested and found guilty by reason
of proximity. Borden is murdered by the Earth government,
and only after he’s fully choked out does Sir Michael find out the Pepsi Twist: Angier
is still alive and kicking! With one of his feet at least. It seems Angier has been suiciding himself
at the end of every performance, leaving behind a fresh-baked clone to live until the next
one. Then, just as Angier is patting himself on the back, Borden shows up and performs
his greatest trick: shooting him with a gun. Buy one Pepsi Twist, get the second for half
price! Borden is actually two twin brothers who would
trade off being Borden and Fallon, depending on who was having a better hair day. Angier bleeds out all his remaining blood,
and Borden meets up with that double-crossing legend of stage and screen to retrieve his
daughter, who is also part of this. In The Prestige, shamanism is a metaphor for
storytelling, which is a euphemism for talkies. At the start of the film, Cutter explains
the structure of a magic trick. This progression also reflects the three act
structure that comprises the bulk of Hollywood features — even Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Act One is the pledge. In the world of film, this translates to the
introduction of characters and conflict, generally something to do with not having a date to
dog prom. Act Two is the turn, which gets its name because
Act One… turns… into Act Two. Act Two introduces complications, in this
case the advent of Borden’s Trans Man trick, which ignites Angiers’ descent into non-binary
open-mindedness. The turn culminates when Angiers activates
the machine, and the audience is left wondering when Batman is going to show up. Act Three is the prestige, which, coincidentally,
is also the name of the film. This is when the story gathers the narrative
threads and ties them into a neat little Bowflex, climaxing in a grand flourish. Significantly, this structure is explained
by a man named “Cutter,” a term that references an editor’s role in piecing a film together. Too bad our editors are pieces
of – unwavering professionalism – who
knows how to do his job. Just as a shaman distracts us with techniques
like needlessly vulgar imagery or a needlessly attractive assistant, the film diverts the
audience from the twist even while dangling it right in front of our state-of-the-art
ocular implants. The child guesses immediately that the birdcage
trick used a twin. Cutter even comes right out and states it. But the audience is so dazzled by showmanship
and the advent of electricity that we are still gobsmacked when Borden finally explains. All of which goes to prove Cutter’s theory
— whether watching a magic trick or a movie or a donkey show, the audience wants to be
fooled, swept away by the narrative, so that we may be wowed at the end. Because no one goes to a donkey show for the
previews. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Presto disappearo!

100 thoughts on “Hidden Meaning in THE PRESTIGE – Earthling Cinema

  1. It's an awesome film. I'm usually a reasonably hard viewer to fool. Films are easily predictable to me. Not this one. This one had the structure of a magic trick. Cutter's metaphor works both ways. I got blindsided by the plot so many times that I was completely at its mercy after a while, not even trying to decipher its secrets anymore, just watching in amazement, in a state of perfect and absolute suspension of disbelief. The only problem with the tactic this film uses to make me achieve viewer's Nirvana is that it make's it hard to watch it a second time, just like a magic trick which reveals itself at the end loses its appeal.

  2. Hey i've got EarthLink cinema for you garrix, from the past. Small soldiers…yes it's toys but who are we to deny???

  3. I want to say that this was very simple guess about the twin brother.
    I watched this movie when i was 16 and i was not that surprised as i already knew it.

  4. Why does nobody else notice that one of the Borden twins has a scar over his left eye?! It's a callback to the book, where one of them has a scar on his left hand.

  5. Angier is not merely killing his clone everytime! The point is that we don't know what the machine actually does, which of them is the original and which is the clone. Does it move the original and leave a duplicate behind? Or, does it create a duplicate in another spot? Since one of the Angier doubles always immediately dies, even Angier himself doesn't know if the next time he goes in he'lll be the one who dies. It's like Russian roulette. So, he was being extremely brave. That's why performing his trick "took everything".

  6. Were Borden and Fallon really twins? They said in the movie that Tesla built the machine for another magician (and it’s implied to be Borden). So maybe Fallon was actually his clone

  7. The last line "no one goes to a donkey show for the previews" is the best ever!! Freakin hilarious!! Love you guys, keep up the amazing "unwavering professionalism" work!!


  9. I clicked the video thinking that it will actually explain some things but then figured out it was a parody when he called his trick The Trans Man :))

  10. The whole plot of The Prestige = "Too bad our editors are pieces of sh- unwavering professionalism- who knows how to do his job."

  11. Rebecca Hall Rebecca Hall Rebecca Hall Rebecca Hall. If you doubt that she's one of the very greatest actresses alive needs to watch Parade's End.

  12. This movie was slower than a dead slug on wet concrete! It’s difficult to pay attention to the story when you stop caring about the characters half way through. At least that was my take. I couldn’t finish it.

  13. This movie couldve had a better impact if it turned out that cristian bale was a real magician doing real magic. The trailer kinda misled this movie. The movie was goof so far my top 10.

  14. The plot twist of Borden having a twin was so fucking obvious, I don't understand how people were impressed by it

  15. Title card “The Prestige” followed by fade into a shot of all the top hats. “Are you watching closely?”

  16. Interestingly enough, although you could argue that all clones of Angier are the same person, the first time he uses it the one within the machine survives, whereas every night of the trick, it’s the one who teleports away from it. That means that at some point, Angier version 1.0. must have died (if we believe that the teleporter really does work as we think it does and it’s not one of Nolan’s tricks).

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