Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Why does Robert Angier choose to die everyday instead of using the machine just once to create his clone?

Here are some reasons that I don't think justify his act.

  • Ego issues: It didn't work well between Robert and the previous double (Roote) that he had hired but that shouldn't be the case with a clone as they both share same personalities.

  • Double going rogue / blackmailing: It's a clone and inherits the same personality, highly improbable.

  • Keeping it a secret: Alferd Borden did it. Much less stressful than literally preparing to die everyday and ensuring proper disposal of those tanks that only increase in quantity everyday, IMHO.

Also why does the public not accuse Robert Angier for using a double, as it does with Alfred Borden's act?

share|improve this question
    
Good question. As to the last sentence, I don't think the public ever accused Borden of using a double. –  Napoleon Wilson Oct 23 '13 at 20:23
    
Regarding the stress of preparing to die every day: the Angier who performs the trick has, from his own point of view, survived every performance. The deaths all happened to other people. –  Nefrubyr Oct 24 '13 at 14:28

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

In addition to iandotkelly's already good answer, I'd say it just doesn't fit to Angier's nature. One of the major differences between Borden and Angier is, that Angier couldn't ever imagine to devote his entire life to "just a magic trick", and always wanted to go the easy way, whereas Borden took his art as serious as to only live half a life for his entire life, which in fact was "his real trick and shows true dedication to his art".

That is the reason why Angier couldn't imagine Borden to use a double, since his own fast experiences with this were rather unfruitful (yet, he was lucky enough to find his exact double in London, but nevermind ;-)) and why he couldn't get behind the old Chinese magician's trick, while Borden undertsood it immediately. And this is also the reason why he doesn't want to use a double. As you say, both Angiers would have the same personality and as iandotkelly says, there wouldn't be any one who had more right to be the "real" Angier. So in order to not share his whole life with another Angier to keep the trick secret, he went the fast and easy (and pretty dirty) way of a forced move operation instead of a copy. On the longer perspective his way of keeping the secret wasn't really "less stressful" than Borden's if you consider what Borden had to sacrifice in his non-stage life in order to keep up his trick.

And an additional factor is also, that I for myself think that Angier didn't just do those tricks to do a good show and win against Borden success-wise, but also in order for the supposed "murder" to happen one day and to ultimately win against Borden. And for this one Angier had to die.

share|improve this answer
    
Great answer - but I think I missed the "supposed murder" bit when I watched the film. Are you sure about it? I'll watch it again anyways. –  saurabhj Oct 30 '13 at 11:03
    
@saurabhj It wasn't explicitly stated that he planned the whole "murder" to happen, but I think it is implied, especially given that he knew not to reappear on exactly this night (because he saw Borden walk back-stage). Otherwise he would have just appeared as usualy and everybody would have wondered about a dead and an alive Angier. But interpretation is still a free good, of course. This is covered in some related questions to some degree: movies.stackexchange.com/q/3693/49 and movies.stackexchange.com/q/11444/49. –  Napoleon Wilson Oct 30 '13 at 11:59

I think the problem as Angier sees it is 'which one had the right to get his life'. If he were to allow the other Angier to live, would it end up killing him to replace him. Just because someone has the same personality as you doesn't in my opinion make it less likely that they would feel threatened by you, actually with shared memories and understanding, your doppelgänger might be more dangerous than another person.

I think Angier decides that it doesn't particularly matter which one of them survives, as long as there is only ever one. He even prepares for this in his first experiment with the device, by having the gun available.

Its kind of twisted logic, because for each clone created by the machine, one Angier dies - but he doesn't know which one he is going to be each time. But I think he believes only having one survivor is cleaner .... no chance of "going rogue" happening, or his secret being found out.

Finally, its a dramatic demonstration to himself (and ultimately Borden) that he's finally willing to "get his hands dirty" to perform the ultimate illusion.

share|improve this answer
    
Sorry, can only accept one answer. :-( –  Vikrant Chaudhary Oct 28 '13 at 7:43
    
@VikrantChaudhary - no problem! –  iandotkelly Oct 28 '13 at 13:24

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.