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Obsession is a young man's game. This is the line delivered by Mr. Cutter (played by Michael Caine) to Robert Angier (played by Hugh Jackman) in the Christopher Nolan directed film The Prestige. And obsession is a theme, among several others, that takes key precedence in this brilliantly crafted film about a very heated professional rivalry between two stage magicians that spans the course of several years.


Alfred Borden (played by Christian Bale) is a stage magician in London who stands trial for the murder of his professional rival Robert Angier. The film is told in continuous flashbacks from their beginnings as workers for a high end magician, to their progression to each other's bitter rival.


Borden, while imprisoned, seeks the answers to his one time friend's death before he faces the noose himself. All through the film are subplots, such as the beginning of their quarrel that stemmed from the death of Angier's wife, which may have been Borden's own responsibility.


Director Christopher Nolan takes his already large repertoire of atmosphere that is present in all of his films, such as Batman Begins and Insomnia, to new heights. His rendering of a dark, cold Industrial Revolution era London brilliantly sets the tone of the story.


As mentioned, the story is told predominantly through the use of flashbacks. But what makes this use of flashbacks particularly interesting is that they are told as journal entries of both Borden and Angier, which lets the audience know the motivations and convictions of both men.


The rivalry in the film is portrayed as obsessive to the tenth degree as both men set out to sabotage each other's magic acts, specifically over Borden's masterpiece which Angier feverishly tries to reproduce.


The only problem with using the flashbacks to tell the story is that it may confuse the more relaxed of movie goers. But, if attention is paid, then it is also rewarded in this emotional and psychological roller coaster.


With a cast that boasts such talent as Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Scarlet Johanson, Piper Perabo, Rebecca Hall, Andy Serkis, and David Bowie, every character is offered equal character development and is explored greatly.


This film, like any good magic trick, will have you guessing and guessing the film's surprising outcome, only to leave you fooled again and again and again. The Prestige is a film that has something up its sleeve for everyone to enjoy.


Dror Klar is a writer and promoter of news, movie reviews and celebrity information. If you are in the market for DIRECTV or Dish Networksatellite TV and High Speed Satellite Internet


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