Last weekend the Snook and I finally caught a showing of The Prestige. I’d seen glowing reviews from both Andrew and Kevin, but thankfully I managed to avoid the temptation to spoil myself. And yeah, it’s definitely a film that you should see cold. We really enjoyed it! While we both figured out Angier’s trick pretty quickly, I didn’t work out Borden’s at all. (The Snook claims he did.) Afterwards I went back to read the reviews, and I was intrigued by Kevin’s reference to a “deliriously creepy” ending to the original book that was missing from the film. So I headed to Kinokuniya on Tuesday to pick up a copy. I was surprised at how different it was from the movie. Most of the big plot points are still there, but the structure and effect are completely different. I thought it gave a much better insight into the character of the two magicians, and I came away feeling much more ambivalent over who was the hero and who was the villain. (I think the movie suffers a little bit in this regard because of Hugh Jackman’s star power; you can’t help but think of him as the “main” character.) And the ending? SO FREAKING CREEPY. I read it last night at, like, 1 a.m. and then it took me ages to get to sleep. (Thanks for that, Kev!) I do have a few questions about that ending though. Needless to say, DON’T READ ANY FURTHER if you have any intention of reading the book. (Or seeing the movie, though it doesn’t really have much to do with it.)Okay, so WraithAngier was going to go through the machine and aim himself at DeadAngier. He was hoping it would either kill him or bring him back to life. What actually happened? Is the super creepy still-alive Angier at the end actually the CombinedAngier (somehow given eternal life) or is it just WraithAngier, who never bonded with DeadAngier (and somehow has eternal life)?
Beyond that – okay, so the descendent of Angier threw the little boy into the machine and he “died”. How did the “prestige materials” end up in the tomb? Did somebody carry him in there? And where did the living little boy end up? Was the machine still calibrated to send him into Angier’s coffin? Doesn’t that mean the little boy ended up in the freaking tomb? And wouldn’t you think he’d remember that?
Lastly – the business with the index card is ridiculous, right? They make a point of saying that it’s the same handwriting as all the others’ (i.e. Angier’s). So how did UndeadAngier know who the hell the kid was to write the card? Did his descendants come down there and tell him? Did they KNOW that their undead grandpa was still hanging around the family tomb? And where did he get a goddamn pen?
So many plot holes… yet still, SO FREAKING SCARY.