Director Christopher Nolan has handed himself a difficult task of tackling a complicated story about two cold, central figures. Indeed, the complex premium of the film 'The Prestige' becomes a good escalating battle of wits presented the 'Nolan way.' A dazzlingly interesting narrative about two rival magicians from turn of the century London, 'The Prestige' revolves around the lives of Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). They start a friendship that ever turns into a rivalry after Rupert's wife gets killed in a magic trick that has gone wrong. Since then, they start trying to discover each other's secrets, and ruin each other's tricks along the way. The story escalates further when Alfred discovers the ultimate trick of the 'Transported Man,' a trick that will make Rupert lose his mind just to decipher Alfred's ultimate secret.
Dark, increasingly elaborate, complex, convoluted, contrived, and full of twists and turns, Nolan's dark vision for 'The Prestige' becomes a workout for the audience's mind. Filled with its labyrinth of conflicting ideas amidst the sincere human characters coming from the characters, the film is a mind-tickler that makes the viewer engaged with the story as s / he tries to penetrate its elegantly Victorian noir presentation to find out the film's own Ultimate trick. Underneath the film's physicality lies some mundane truths about love, life, career, sacrifice, and revenge. The film may be set during the Victorian days, but the universal issues it poses about rivalry and obsession make people relate to it very well. The film's plot-heavy story and striking moments either leaves the viewer exhilarated or disturbed for many possible reasons.
Technically, the film is nothing less than brilliant. The time period depicted is taken to perfection. The costumes and art direction are splendid. The effects look believable and seamless. The cinematography is stunning and validating. Indeed, the auteur in Nolan really surfaces in every film he makes.
Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan have collaborated on a powerful script with its non-linear pace complemented by the film's impressive visual and aural composition. Many films become under-written or half-developed, but 'The Prestige' is the opposite – it's almost too clever, that inevitably, some people do not get to appreciate its entity anymore. This film has its own audience really. Some may find it a cult classic of impressive cinematic magic; And yet, some may find it a ponderous tale that promises much, but in the end, delivers surprisingly little.
Those who find fulfillment in this kind of film can enjoy a great deal from it being a twisty thriller presented in a not so common ground – the dark and intelligent treatment Nolan is known for. They see an exemplary story with multi-faceted levels of artistry. From hers sheer finery and elegant details both inside and out, it reaps value out of the question, 'How did they do that?' – figuring out how Nolan has done the rare magic trick to come up with the compulsively absorbing 'The …