Magician Alfred Borden will be executed for the murder of Robert Angier, the heroes previously worked as assistants to another magician. The death of Angier’s wife during a stunt, which occurred through the fault of Borden, as well as professional rivalry, made the men bitter enemies.
Angier takes the pseudonym “The Great Danton”. Borden – “Professor”. Magicians harm each other, disrupt performances. Borden creates a man-moving trick.
And “Danton” presents his version of the trick, using a double in it. But he doesn’t know what the secret of Borden’s trick is. To find him, Robert sends his assistant Olivia to him. She becomes Borden’s mistress, gives the diary with Borden’s encrypted records to Angier, it supposedly contains answers to questions. Angier forces Felon to tell him that the key to the diary is “Tesla”.
Robert meets with Nikola Tesla. At the same time, the hero completes the decryption of the diary and sees that there are no clues in it. Tesla makes a teleportation device for Robert, his test showed that the machine, instead of teleportation, creates exact copies of objects.
Armed with this idea, Robert returns to England and creates a new trick. He enters the apparatus, disappears, and immediately reappears at the back of the hall.
Borden is puzzled, decides to follow the trick behind the scenes of the enemy. Angier during the trick falls into a vat of water, drowning. Borden sees this, tries to help, but he is caught and sentenced to death.
In prison, a man from Lord Caldlow comes to Borden, offers to take care of Borden’s daughter, the payment for this is the secrets of his tricks. Caldlow then visits Borden himself to collect trick secrets. It turns out that this lord is Angier, he is alive, he tears apart all the schemes of tricks without reading.
Cutter, Angier’s assistant, learns that the murder was a set-up, that Angier is alive. They go together to the theater for a miracle machine. On the way, they meet Felon, who turns out to be Borden in disguise, shoots Robert. He declares to Angier that his twin brother was executed, there were two of them. And leaves Angier to die.
The meaning of the film The Prestige
The film The Prestige is built on the classic trick scheme: bait, transformation, prestige. The rivalry of two illusionists, the invention of tricks, the pursuit of fortune and the attention of the audience are bait. The episode with Angier being in a tank of water, Borden being convicted of his death, convicted and sentenced to death – a transformation.
The mysterious Lord Caldlow turns out to be Angier, who appeared before Borden, who is on the verge of execution in prison – prestige. Executed Borden, who is one of the twin brothers – double prestige!
The film is not just about the miracles of illusionary skill, it is about the great passion of these people for their profession, a painful obsession. Heroes sometimes become indifferent to the fate of their own families, their own income, the recognition of the audience – it is only important for them to find out the secret of the opponent’s trick. This obsession destroys the one who allowed it to take over.
Borden’s passion is solving secrets. He even chose a suitable pseudonym for himself, “Professor”, looking for answers to questions. It is this passion that becomes the reason for a protracted war with Robert. The craving for the new, the unknown pushes him to tie a knot on the hand of Angier’s wife (which leads to her death), the same craving makes him go to the theater, look for the key to the trick behind the scenes of his competitor. The answer is not found, but he found his death there.
Angier ruined his own vanity, his passion – applause. It doesn’t matter to him who came up with the trick – he himself, Borden, Tesla, the result is important to him. And he is also driven by revenge for the death of his wife, in which Borden was involved. When he defiantly tears to pieces the sheets with the secrets of Borden’s tricks, he signs his own death warrant, because they contain the presence of another Borden (twin). If not for Angier’s desire to make the whole show, he might have survived.
The meaning of the final movie The Prestige
The finale begins at the moment of the invention of the Tesla machine. Borden sends Angier to Tesla. Society at that time was opposed to Tesla – it perceived him as a dreamer, also a kind of magician, a charlatan. But the machine he created works. It creates a copy equal to the original. This means that each copy of “Danton” is equal to himself – she has his thoughts, has his personality. With this machine, Robert has the ability to die thousands of times – a copy will replace and will continue to live for him.
Now you can create one double for yourself, use it to make the “Movement of a Person” number the crown and earn success with the audience. But, as it became clear, the rivalry between the two artists has long gone beyond the struggle for recognition – they seek to destroy each other.
“Danton” concludes a contract with the theater for a hundred performances, he knows that Borden will definitely come to the theater and try to find out the secret of the trick. And so it happened – Borden came to the concert, began to scour the stage, he was caught “murdering” Angier. Revenge was a success – the secret of the trick remained a secret, Borden was executed. Angier under the guise of Lord Caldlow is in prison to the “Professor” to make a real splash in front of a special audience.
But the lord is killed by the second of the Bordens, the twin brother. Caldlow is not destined to remain the winner in this confrontation.