The Prestige is the film directed by Christopher Nolan which airs this evening at 11.55 pm on Italia 1. It is a very ambitious film, linked as much to magic as to time jumps. As read on Coming Soonin The Prestige there are 146 time jumps. A truly exorbitant number that the two protagonists have managed each in their own way. Hugh Jackman keeping a diary during filming so that he always stays very close to his character, Christian Bale with a pattern to always be sure of what timeline his character was in.
The Prestige, the plot
Based on the novel of the same name by Christopher PierstThe Prestige follows the story of two wizards, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman). However, the friendship and partnership between the two ends abruptly when Robert’s wife Julia (Piper Perabo) dies during an underwater magic act. Robert holds Alfred responsible for the death of his beloved and for this he decides to begin a ruthless rivalry, a game of massacre that leads the two wizards to challenge each other several times. Robert becomes The Professor, while Alfred assumes the fictional identity of The Great Danton. The two spend their time sabotaging each other, often leading to serious consequences, such as Robert being injured by Alfred who knocks off two of the magician’s fingers. Soon, however, the name of The Great Danton begins to become popular following a new magic trick called Human Transport, in which the illusionist disappears and reappears in different places on the stage and in various theatres. From that moment Robert begins to have a real obsession with the number, to the point of “selling out” even his assistant Olivia (Scarlett Johansson), turning her into a spy. But even in this case the consequences will be unpredictable and terrible.
The involvement of David Bowie
It is certainly no mystery the determination that the director Christopher Nolan puts into play when he is struggling with the production of a new project. Beyond the tendency to keep everything secret to allow the public to have as complete an experience as possible, without the risk of spoilers or previews, the director is also famous for the way he always tries to make the film he has in mind, without (too) pacts with production houses or executive producers. When Christopher Nolan started working on The Prestige there were two things, among the many certainties he had, that he didn’t want to compromise on. The first was that, of course, history should be enriched by the presence of Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor, physicist and engineer with an eccentric behavior who dabbled for a long time with experiments related to electricity. The second was that David Bowie had to play the famous scientist.
As stated on the website of‘Internet Movie Databasethe musician – who was not new to cinematic interpretations, just think of the iconic role played in labyrinth – at first he refused the offer. Nolan, however, was not willing to take no for an answer and, completely ignoring the artist’s statement, decided to fly directly to the house of David Bowie to talk to him personally about the project and try to convince him. Nolan explained to David Bowie that he was the only one who could play Nikola Tesla and that he had no other options or plan B. This was because, according to Nolan, he had always imagined David Bowie creating “his of him” Nikola Tesla . Furthermore, he said that the scope and iconicity of David Bowie would have cooperated in making the idea of a scientist who manages to build a cloning machine clearer and more credible. After hearing what was almost a declaration of love, David Bowie changed his mind and agreed to participate in The Prestige.