What an interesting character study is “The Prestige”! Let us first talk about Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman). Angier is the epitome of human greed. He represents our lust for complete knowing. The person inside all of us that wants to know everything about everything, because we can’t stand to be in the darkness. We need to know. Nikola Tesla’s device may be fictional, but it does represent the extent that people are willing to go in order to satisfy their selfish curiosity. Make no mistake about it, “The Prestige” highlights the darkness of human nature that lurks inside all of us, ready to burst out at any minute. The good news is that we can learn to control our dark side. Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) is a much less explicit character. He is the epitome of actual knowing. The man who possesses the ‘secret’. This is the man that Angier envies the most. Seemingly cool, calm, collected, and in control. Borden allures Angier by creating a new, obviously impossible magic trick called “The Transported Man”. Borden never gives away his simple ‘secret’. As a matter of fact, he leads Angier to believe that he has a real secret. Angier falls for the trap. The only reason that a moral trap like this is possible in the first place, is the gullibility of the subject. There would be no movie without Angier’s insistence to ‘get the secret’. Most people relate to Angier, because many of us feel that we are missing something. We need someone else’s secret to feel happy. We need the gawking of others at our ‘magic show’ in order to feel fulfilled.
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