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Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” is One of My Favorite Movies and Here’s Why

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Warning: This article will contain spoilers for The Prestige (2006). If you haven’t seen this movie, please take two hours out of your day and watch it. It’s incredible. 

I hadn’t seen Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006) until literally last weekend when a good friend of mine wanted to watch it for her birthday. It was absolutely amazing, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire two hour run. It baffles me that Christopher Nolan didn’t win an Oscar for this film. It’s definitely my favorite Nolan film now; I really didn’t think anything would top The Dark Knight (2008). 

As an aspiring filmmaker, I can’t believe this film came out between Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008). Did this man even sleep between the years 2005 through 2008? I knew I had to write an article about this movie right after I finished watching it. 

Okay, let’s break this movie down:

The lovely Michael Caine plays a protagonist in this film and breaks the plot down into three acts, much like a magician would break their act into three. 

The Pledge: This is when the magician shows the audience and object. An example could be a dove or a rubber ball. 

The Turn: This is when the magician makes the object disappear and the audience is left wondering where it is. 

The Prestige: This is the last act. Caine emphasizes that the magician must bring the object back. It’s one thing to make an object disappear, the hardest part is bringing it back. 

I thought it was very satisfying how Nolan decided to also break his film down into three parts. We are introduced to the rival characters played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman with Michael Caine narrating during the entire run. We then learn about why magic is significant in each of their lives. The two men are constantly trying to outdo the other when it comes to performing in front of large audiences. If Christian Bale does a trick, Hugh Jackman must do it better, and vise versa. I was never left unsatisfied with the tricks. If anything, it had me on the edge of my seat even more because of how intense they were.  

Even though the film jumps through the past, present, and future, we are still able to learn with the characters. The performances by Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, and Scarlett Johansson were incredible because this story took many twists and turns. I usually find myself getting lost in complicated plots, but this film was able to bring everything together because it was well acted and the dialogue was able to flow. The David Bowie cameo was iconic.    

Another reason why I enjoyed this film so much is because during the halfway point where the two protagonists were using doubles, I was convinced that Nolan just hired look alike actors and used CGI over their faces. No, it was actually Chrisitan Bale and Hugh Jackman just giving their best performances, with prosthetic makeup added. 

The final scene gave me chills like nothing I’ve never felt before. Seeing all of the sealed water tanks with Hugh Jackman’s copy and then the immediate cut to black… that is an editing note that I wrote down immediately. Even though it was a chilling way to end the story, it was definitely unforgettable. I think that this is one of Nolan’s best films, and very underrated. 

Amanda is a fourth year Cinema & Digital Media major with a minor in Communications. She enjoys writing, watching movies & TV shows, and spending time with her friends. She hopes to pursue a career in the film industry after UC Davis.