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Old June 24 2009, 08:49 AM   #1
FPAlpha
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The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoilers)

So i finally got around to see the Prestige after having been "pestered" by my friends to see it. Awesome movie with an awesome cast.. i really enjoyed it.

Now on to my question (it's about the ending.. don't read further and spoil yourself if you haven't seen the movie).


We know that the Tesla machine makes copies of whatever is placed inside instead of the wanted teleporting effect.. so far so good.

We get one scene where Angiers (Hugh Jackman) tries it out for the first on himself and a copy appears in front of himself which he then shoots (by this point he's gone so far in his obsession that there's no turning back).
Now the end reveals that for his final 100 show run he's been doing that everytime he does the "trick" but instead of shooting Angiers drops down in a tank full of water and drowns.
So.. when Borden (Christian Bale) finally decides to scope out the trick for himself he witnessess the trick from below and sees Angiers drown unable to save him.

My question.. why does the Angier who drops down into the tank burst out in panic as if dropping in the tank is not something he planned?

The way i understand the machine it makes an exact copy including memories as evidenced by the short scene where Angiers shoots "himself" because the guy who appears outside the machine tries to stop the shot saying some words which makes me believe he's also a "full Angier".

So why does he panic when he knows that as soon as the trick is over the one who's in the machine is going to die?

Was Angier so far gone in his obsession that he is willingly committing suicide a hundred times just to lure out Borden to get his revenge and have him framed for murder?
Or did i overlook something?

I can't see any logical explanation for the shock Angiers apparently feels when he's dropped down in the water because someone had to place the tank under the stage and if not Angier himself then at least he had to order his blind helpers to do so.. in each case he should know that the machine was a death trap.

That's about it.. a small nitpick in an otherwise fantastic movie with a great twist ending and an excellent cast.
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Old June 24 2009, 08:58 AM   #2
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

It's very simple: He's drowning! He's in agony! I don't care how obsessed you are and how much foreknowledge of your death you have. If you are drowning you are going to flail around and panic because you are suffering a painful death. He also said he did not know if he was going to be the man in the box or the man in the balcony. It would be a shock to him to end up in the box becuase he had a 50/50 chance.
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Old June 24 2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

Whether or not you know you're going to die horribly doesn't change the moment when you're dying horribly. But also...

"It took courage to climb into that machine every night... not knowing if I'd be the prestige... or the man in the box..."

I'm guessing he thought the machine was a duplicator/transporter and not just a duplicator. Since the copy has the exact same memories, each and every time he did the trick, the one not drowning probably thought he had been transported and thus escaped the trap set for "the other one."
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Old June 24 2009, 09:05 AM   #4
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

The bigger plot hole in the film is what exactly Cutter told the judge about how the trick is done. Obviously he couldn' t tell him the real truth.
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Old June 24 2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
It's very simple: He's drowning! He's in agony! I don't care how obsessed you are and how much foreknowledge of your death you have. If you are drowning you are going to flail around and panic because you are suffering a painful death. He also said he did not know if he was going to be the man in the box or the man in the balcony. It would be a shock to him to end up in the box becuase he had a 50/50 chance.
Hmm.. that could explain the moment of shock he experiences when he drops into the tank. Thanks.. it's been bugging me since i saw the movie. I must have missed that line.

OdoWanKenobi wrote: View Post
The bigger plot hole in the film is what exactly Cutter told the judge about how the trick is done. Obviously he couldn' t tell him the real truth.

Because Cutter didn't know the truth.. Angier had him work the front and he was "forbidden" to go background. I suppose he must have cobbled together some explanation and they used it willingly because they couldn't imagine something supernatural or SciFi to be the solution.
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Old June 24 2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

I think the other point is that Michael Caine's character had told him that drowining was a peaceful way to go...so another shock when he discovers it's anything but!
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Old February 9 2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

It is why waterboarding is so effective. No matter how much you prepare yourself, once you experience drowning, you lose all control.
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Old February 9 2012, 02:20 PM   #8
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

There's also the irony that to beat Borden, Angier dies by drowning, the same way his wife died...which he blames Borden for.
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Old February 9 2012, 03:36 PM   #9
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

This is the part where I mention that movie is based on a novel by Christopher Priest, which has more about the characters and their families.
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Old February 9 2012, 04:40 PM   #10
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
My question.. why does the Angier who drops down into the tank burst out in panic as if dropping in the tank is not something he planned?
He doesn't know that he's the one ending up in the tank. And his duplicate doesn't know that he will be the one ending up in the tank in the next attempt.
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Old February 9 2012, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

The duplicate Angier remembers walking into the machine and then suddenly being 100 feet away (or whatever the exact distance is) so to him it's a transporter that leaves a copy behind to get drowned...

Until the next performance when he suddenly discovers that that's not what it does!
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Old February 9 2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

If it's an exact duplicate, then it doesn't matter who gets saved and who drowns.
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Old February 9 2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

I suspect it matters to the drowing duplicate
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Old February 9 2012, 05:54 PM   #14
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

Deckerd wrote: View Post
If it's an exact duplicate, then it doesn't matter who gets saved and who drowns.
Unless you're the one who ends up in the tank!
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Old February 9 2012, 07:10 PM   #15
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Re: The Prestige - finally saw it but have a small question(Huge Spoil

I'm glad we finally got that cleared up after 3 years.
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