In the opening scenes of the movie, Michael Caine explains in a court room the three stages in an act of magic – “Pledge, Turn and Prestige”. While the movie progresses much like a performance of a magician, it is debatable whether this movie contains the three mentioned elements, appearing in the same order.
Rivalry between two magicians sets the background for the plot of the movie. Of the two, one is a showman, a master of presentation. The other is a dedicated magician, driven more by the passion for the art and focusing less on presentation and commercial success. Both start of together as apprentices under the same magician before a tragic mishap on stage makes them bitter rivals.
The two rivals keep competing to outdo each other at every single opportunity. And just when you think that one has succeeded finally, the other strikes back. This see-saw journey continues up until the very last frame. And the unanticipated climax presents a perfect ending.
Like most Christopher Nolan movies, this one also has a non-linear presentation. The movie begins with one of them being accused for the murder of the other. A diary which often passes hands between the two magicians helps partially in keeping track of continuity.
Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale excel as the competing magicians. Wonderfully supported by Michael Caine, as an engineer who designs the tricks. Scarlett Johansson is another star featuring in this movie.
Tesla and the Transporter machine. Just think that the final act could have been something else other than the unrealistic Transporter machine act. But that doesn’t distract or take anything away from (but may in fact be adding to) the exhilarating narration.
A movie worth watching once.