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Thread: The Prestige

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    The Prestige

    DISCLAIMER: If you haven't seen the movie The Prestige, stop here and do not read this thread. This is a response to a post in the movie thread, and I started a new thread to avoid hijacking the other one.


























    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    So was it the "clone" Angiers running around doing the killing?

    And at the very end of the movie you see a scene of the one Angier still in the water tank. What was with that? One of the Bale brothers gets hanged for murdering Angier, and earlier in the movie we see the Angier who was supposedly drowned in that tank on an autopsy table.

    I'm also assuming that the Michael Caine character switches his allegiance to Borden at some point after he realizes that Angier's obsession with Borden's acts is driving him to try and destroy Borden's personal life out of pure jealousy.

    What say some of you?
    I haven't read the novel, but based off reading the Wiki entries and seeing the movie three times, I think there are several distinct differences between the novel and movie that may be throwing you off, GAC.

    My interpretations from watching the movie is that once Tesla put his finishing touches on the machine - he made several references in this nature of needing to work out the problems - the machine then either 1) transported the original Angier to a new location, or 2) cloned a new Angier to a new location while the original Angier did not move (I'll get into this more at the end on why I feel it's #1 instead of #2).

    During each of Angier's performances - IIRC, he agreed to do 100 performances - either the original Angier or the cloned Angier dies each time. Once the cloning finalizes in the machine, a door in the floor opens and the Angier standing in the machine drops into the water tank. Whether this is the original Angier or cloned Angier that drops into the tank, I do not know for certain. Anyhow, the Angier that drops into the water tank during each performance drowns, and Angier hired blind stage assistants to help remove the water tanks after each performance. In essence, Angier knew that he couldn't have several cloned copies of himself existing so he had to kill the double (or himself while allowing the double to live) after each performance without anybody else knowing (that is important).

    Now, to your questions specifically on Angier ... the Angier that you see on the autospy table is the Angier that dies during the performance that Borden witnesses when he runs below the stage. Since the Borden twin who witnessed the drowning made a spectacle of Angier dying, other people suddenly knew that Angier apparently died ... which forces the living Angier to disappear under a new identity of Lord Caldlow. Society and law enforcement officials at that point believe that Angier was murdered by Borden, and that's why the one Borden twin was charged with the murder on circumstantial evidence. While the one Borden twin is in prison, the other Borden twin is disguised as Fallon at all times.

    The Angier that you see in the water tank during the movie's final scene is one of the many Angiers that died during his performances. His blind stage assistants used that warehouse as a storage facility for each water tank, but it's also important to know that the blind stage assistants had no idea there was a corpse inside.

    In the movie, Cutter held an allegiance to Angier all the way throughout until he realizes that Lord Caldlow is Angier during one of the movies final scenes. This much seems clear to me; Cutter's allegiance shifts to Borden when he realized that Angier stole Borden's daughter.

    Back to the original Angier vs. cloned Angier ... the movie doesn't appear to directly tell you which Angier is transported and which lives, and it gives hints that it could go either way. First, after Angier is shot by one of the Borden twins, you see a flashback to when he first used the machine. A cloned copy is produced outside the machine, and the original Angier picks up the gun and shoots him in the chest.

    However, Angier also has a strange reaction near the end in regards to killing his clones (or dying himself), and it may or may not be a stretch for new cloned Angiers to understand how many performances he's done in the past. Remember the story Cutter tells Angier during his wife's funeral to ease Angier's pain over his wife's death (i.e. he had a friend who described passing away as "going home"). At the end of the movie, Cutter tells Angier, "I lied. He said it was agony." Angier's reaction to that is a bit strange. He tells Cutter that each time he stepped into the machine, he never knew if it was going to be him or the clone that would drown.

    After typing that all out, I realize this may confuse you more than ever. As it is, the movie really did fascinate me, and it's one of the best movies I've seen in quite a long time.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    Great movie!! I'm glad it's one of the two movies I saw in theaters this past year.

    I need to get a copy of it on DVD so I can watch it again.
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    I got a peak at it yesterday - a most excellent movie. Of course, like many of Nolan's movies, he keeps you thinking and confused to the end. And by the end, you are still confused. Such as with the whole killing of the Angier clones confusion.
    It would make no sense for him to continually keep killing himself...so does that is not his original.
    Then again, it would make more sense that the original is inside the device at all times - I seem to remember the first time he cloned himself, the clone which appeared outside of the device had a moment in which he was disoriented (was this from being just created...or from just being transported. However, I don't seem to remember as much disorientation from the Angier who was still inside the device).
    Of course, when asked which one was his hat, Telsa DID say they were all his hat. So, perhaps all of the Angier's were originals, willingly taking the fall (aka drowning) each time because of guilt from being responsible for a similar death.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    Thanks for the response Jason. I'm going to have to watch this flick a couple more times because it has intrigued me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    My interpretations from watching the movie is that once Tesla put his finishing touches on the machine - he made several references in this nature of needing to work out the problems - the machine then either 1) transported the original Angier to a new location, or 2) cloned a new Angier to a new location while the original Angier did not move (I'll get into this more at the end on why I feel it's #1 instead of #2).
    I figured that is where all the top hats out in the field came from - Tesla's constant testing of the machine.

    My understanding is that the machine always "transported" the original Angier to a new location and left the "clone" standing in the machine. And since this was suppose to be a transportation act and was to involve only one Angier, the reason for the trap door was to "rectify" that problem before the audience.

    My reasoning for thinking this is from that scene where he was using the double (in the earlier acts), yet the double got all the prestige while he was hidden behind the stage. This really bothered Angier. The machine rectified that problem for him.

    Anyhow, the Angier that drops into the water tank during each performance drowns, and Angier hired blind stage assistants to help remove the water tanks after each performance. In essence, Angier knew that he couldn't have several cloned copies of himself existing so he had to kill the double (or himself while allowing the double to live) after each performance without anybody else knowing (that is important).
    So Angier was basically killing off his "clones" because, as you say, he couldn't all these cloned copies of himself running around. Makes sense.

    Since the Borden twin who witnessed the drowning made a spectacle of Angier dying, other people suddenly knew that Angier apparently died ... which forces the living Angier to disappear under a new identity of Lord Caldlow.
    That makes further sense. Borden, unknowingly, because of his intrique in wanting to discover how Angier is doing this, basically blows his cover. So Borden, at that time, thinks he is actually witnessing the real Angier drowning in that tank. This therefore forces the real Angier into hiding.

    While the one Borden twin is in prison, the other Borden twin is disguised as Fallon at all times.
    I never realized this. So this "associate" of Borden was actually his twin brother in disguise. What is interesting is that when I go to the movie website, where it lists the cast and who plays who - there is no mention of a Fallon character.

    The Angier that you see in the water tank during the movie's final scene is one of the many Angiers that died during his performances. His blind stage assistants used that warehouse as a storage facility for each water tank, but it's also important to know that the blind stage assistants had no idea there was a corpse inside.

    In the movie, Cutter held an allegiance to Angier all the way throughout until he realizes that Lord Caldlow is Angier during one of the movies final scenes. This much seems clear to me; Cutter's allegiance shifts to Borden when he realized that Angier stole Borden's daughter.
    You're probably right. After watching the movie and trying to assimilate it all and go back in review, I figured Cutter was also helping Borden because he seemed so adamant, and so sure of himself, in telling Angier, when Angier was obsessing over Borden's Transported Man act, that Borden was using a double.

    So was the drunk double that Angier found for his act just that? A double?

    Also - Did Angier somehow blame Borden for the accidental death of his wife? I was trying to figure out what was meant, during the funeral, when Angier asked Borden something, and the kept saying "Why don't you know?" or something to that effect.

    Like I said - I'll need to watch this movie again. I told my wife, who slept through it (instead of me) that she needs to watch it.
    Last edited by GAC; 02-27-2007 at 08:28 AM.
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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    I never realized this. So this "associate" of Borden was actually his twin brother in disguise. What is interesting is that when I go to the movie website, where it lists the cast and who plays who - there is no mention of a Fallon character.
    Right, Borden was Fallon, and Fallon was Borden. They constantly switched back and forth during the movie, and different scenes in the movie give you clues as to which one is currently the acting Borden. You could even actually label the two Bordens with a different name.

    First, you had "Alfred" Borden, and he was the guy who loved his wife and who was the real father of their daughter, and he's the one who ultimately kills Angier at the very end of the movie. His personality was a bit more laid back, sensitive, and caring. The other Borden was "Freddy" Borden, and he was the one who loved Olivia. His personality was a bit more violent, and it seemed like each time Borden would attempt to sabotage one of Angier's tricks, it was always the "Freddy" Borden doing the sabotaging (and he was the guy who was sent to prison and hung for Angier's death).

    Think back to all the scenes with Borden and his wife. In those scenes, Borden would often tell his wife "I love you," and his wife would either respond with "you mean it today," or "you don't mean it today." This is your clue as to which Borden, "Alfred" or "Freddy" that you're seeing during this particular scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    You're probably right. After watching the movie and trying to assimilate it all and go back in review, I figured Cutter was also helping Borden because he seemed so adamant, and so sure of himself, in telling Angier, when Angier was obsessing over Borden's Transported Man act, that Borden was using a double.

    So was the drunk double that Angier found for his act just that? A double?

    Also - Did Angier somehow blame Borden for the accidental death of his wife? I was trying to figure out what was meant, during the funeral, when Angier asked Borden something, and the kept saying "Why don't you know?" or something to that effect.

    Like I said - I'll need to watch this movie again. I told my wife, who slept through it (instead of me) that she needs to watch it.
    The drunk double that Angier found for his act was just that, a double. Borden identified the drunk double as just being a double immediately, and he tells Olivia that when she strolls over to his shop seeking to work for him. When Borden sabotages Angier's act with the drunk double - and presumably it was the "Freddy" Borden doing that sabotaging - he actually used the drunk double to help him. This is the act that Angier falls below the stage and hits the hard floor, injuring his leg, and we see the drunk double being tied up on stage.

    The question Angier kept asking Borden in relation to his wife's death was "what knot did you tie?" Angier asks Borden that question at least twice, once during his wife's funeral, and again before he shoots Borden in the hand during the magic bullet catch. Borden's answer was always "I don't know," which makes quite a bit of sense once we know that Borden and Fallon constantly switched off. If one specific Borden twin tied the knot that Angier's wife couldn't slip, then other Borden twin really wouldn't know what knot was tied. So when Angier asks Borden "what knot did you tie?" and Borden answers "I don't know," it's because he really didn't know since it was the other twin who tied the knot.

    BTW, I'd definitely recommend seeing this movie multiple times. Much of the above I picked up only after a second viewing. Some of it I was able to think back and understand after only seeing the movie once, but when you see it again, you really see how literally every scene shows an important clue as to what's unfolding on the screen. The entire movie is really one big massive magic trick, i.e. a Pledge, a Turn, and a Prestige, hence the tag line "Are you watching closely?" used at the beginning and during certain other parts of the movie.
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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCinatit View Post
    I got a peak at it yesterday - a most excellent movie. Of course, like many of Nolan's movies, he keeps you thinking and confused to the end. And by the end, you are still confused. Such as with the whole killing of the Angier clones confusion.
    It would make no sense for him to continually keep killing himself...so does that is not his original.
    Then again, it would make more sense that the original is inside the device at all times - I seem to remember the first time he cloned himself, the clone which appeared outside of the device had a moment in which he was disoriented (was this from being just created...or from just being transported. However, I don't seem to remember as much disorientation from the Angier who was still inside the device).
    Of course, when asked which one was his hat, Telsa DID say they were all his hat. So, perhaps all of the Angier's were originals, willingly taking the fall (aka drowning) each time because of guilt from being responsible for a similar death.
    It's certainly very interesting, and it's the one aspect of the movie I haven't yet figured out. I did find the following on another message board that I quoted below, and it does make quite a bit of sense when you sit back and think about it ...

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...=244396&page=2

    "Small clarification on the clones...they're not clones. They are the same. A clone is like a twin...completely seperate lives. At the moment of the teleportation, there is no original. Tesla's comment that sometimes science doesn't do what you expect is because he designed a machine to teleport something...and the reason it worked (but not like he expected) is because of theory he was unaware of, harkening back (or forward) to Schroedinger's cat and Uncertainty Theory. An object can exist as a wave representation in two locations until observed, collapsing the wave into a set reality. But in Tesla's machine, the wave form doesn't collapse, and both versions are real, with the same history up until that point. Neither is a copy, neither is an original.

    This concept bugs the [heck] out of a lot of people.

    Watch Angier's reaction just before he's shot the first time...he claims he's the original (which is why some people think the original teleports, leaving a copy). Other people wonder why the machine "clones" people for a teleport...again, it doesn't. It collapses the the translocation wave in a solid form, something that was outside of Tesla's field, that he would have stumbled across if he had built this machine. I have a sneaking suspicion Priest dreamed up this gizmo simply by crossing Telsa's experiments with quantum theory.

    The reason this minor distinction is important is because Angier never understood that he's not murdering his "clone," he's not risking being the man in the box...he's always the man in the box, and the Prestige. He's stuck with a different hell, a different take on the duality Borden deals with, and both men did it to themselves."
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    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    That sort of makes things make a bit more sense.
    If I am to understand correctly, both are actually within their own universes - though both are completely parallel and compatible. Things happening in one universe are happening exactly as is in the other universe - that is, until the machine is activated, then there is a tear in the universe and suddenly, we are presented with two Angiers. Neither knows he was is another universe - in fact, as far as they are concerned, both have always been in that universe. But an inperfection in the folding of the universe "throws" one a bit further from the machine.
    Of course, I could be way off base here.
    And, yes, the movie does beg for multiple viewings. As I have said, I have only watched it once - and I will admit I was reinstalling Windows at the same time, so my viewing was not perfect.
    Me thinks a weekend viewing of this and The Illusionist is called for...a Magic weekend...without Magic.

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    Member The Baumer's Avatar
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    Re: The Prestige

    Regardless of how you choose to believe the machine works, the original Angier still dies.

    If you believe the clone remains in the machine and the original is teleported, then the first clone Angier kills the original with a gun during the very first test.

    If you believe the original remains in the machine and the clone is teleported, then the first time Angier pulls the trick he is dropped into the tank and drowned, while the clone lives on.


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