The Prestige

Neirai the Forgiven

Christian Guilds List Manager
I know this one's a bit older, but I saw it yesterday at my cousin's.

The basic plot (roughly spoiler-free):

The movie opens with an illusionist doing a "disappearing act" where he drops through a trapdoor in the stage and lands under the stage, while his "double" appears onstage to applause. Only he doesn't land on a cushion this time. He lands in a "death aquarium" -- you know, the aquariums that illusionists like to use that have double-thick-glass, are filled with water, and have locks on them that can be easily opened from the inside. Only, this aquarium has normal locks in it, so the man can't get out. He drowns. His rival is found watching him drown, and is summarily sentenced to death.

The rest of the movie is a huge flashback that shows the events leading up to the murder, and highlights the obsession and ruthlessness with which the two men attempt to outdue each other.

Cons: There are no heroes. No one can claim to be the "good guy." Several people die fairly horridly in this movie, and there is a suicide. You never see anything overly nasty, but the implications are disturbing at times. Also, there are fairly graphic (and bloody) depictions of the kind of accidents that can happen when illusions go wrong. Edit: and some up-played sexuality due to female performing constumes and a (albeit between married folk) short scene that seems to be heading towards intimacy.

Pros: I guess this isn't a "pro" per se, but the "magic" employed in the movie is never seen to be supernatural, but rather to be illusion and science. Nothing occultic happens. Also, the ruthless acts shown in the movie are strongly tied to harsh consequences -- without fail. Everyone's misdeeds leads them deeper and deeper into trouble.

Summary: The Prestige is a movie about revenge and obsession. While it by no means is a 'Christian film,' it deals in the harsh truth that 'stopping at nothing' to accomplish a goal will end up making the goal cost much more than anyone imagined. It also shows how thinking that 'the ends justify the means' only shows how far one has fallen.

Would I see it again? Probably not.
Did I learn from it? Totally.
Would I recommend other people see it? If you are going to think about the message it presents, totally.
See, I absolutely LOVED The Prestige. I definitely agree with your two final conclusions.

My only real critique of this movie is just the callousness to life that they portray in the two main characters throughout the majority of the movie. Otherwise, it is an excellent film that I would recommend to almost anyone (obviously, certain violent elements make this a bad movie for younger kids).
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I saw that the other day. It was amazing.
One of the best movies I have ever seen.
It had a very good storyline and excellent characters, played very well by the actors.

I'll admit, I was excited to see the prestige, but it was LAME. It has nothing on "The Illusionist."
I'll admit, I was excited to see the prestige, but it was LAME. It has nothing on "The Illusionist."

The Prestige > The Illusionist

Reason: I felt that the Illusionist was too long and drawn out...lost interest halfway through, but I will say that the ending made up for it...
I saw both movies a few days apart, and felt they were both pretty good. However, they both seemed to stretch it out through the middle to make time, not to increase effect. If I had to rank them, I think I liked Prestige a little better than Illusionist - the storyline flowed a little better (even though it was slightly more predictable - as soon as you see the pile of hats, you know what's going on).
honestly the illusionist had a more philosophical feel and it felt waaaay cooler to watch than the prestige
honestly the illusionist had a more philosophical feel and it felt waaaay cooler to watch than the prestige

I only watched the beginning of it because my parents said there was some "mature content"...was it really bad? or do you think i could ask my parents to see it?
u see 2 people assumingly naked in a bed together talking........ ive seen worse in a classic james bond movie
You cannot compare the Illusionist to The Prestige at all, because the only thing that they have in common are illusions. That's not nearly enough to be able to say that they are comparable movies. One's a mystery and the other an adventure. I love both movies, because of their creativity....and the acting in each is top notch....not necessarily main chars. but all of the supporting case like Michael Cain, Andy Serkus and David Bowie for the prestige and Rufus Sewell, Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti for Illusionist.