At the end of The Prestige, one of the Borden twins shoots Angier. Angier reveals that he's a magician for the approval of the audience. He loves to hear the people cheering, he loves to convince them of the trick. On the other hand, Borden likes to do tricks for the skill of the craft - making the best tricks that he can. He invented The Transported Man, and he lives a double life just to keep the illusion up.

Is the ending a statement of Christopher Nolan that indicates which reason is more noble according to him?

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    It's not clear to me what you're asking about. Are you asking whether the end of the movie is a statement of Nolan or whether Nolan gave a statement regarding his personal opinion on the ending? Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 15:40
  • Whether the end is a statement of Nolan. Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 15:49
  • Thanks. I allowed myself to rephrase the last sentence to make it more clear. Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 15:58
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    So does Nolan think the craft is better, or being an attention w*$#@ is better? That's a tough call, it is Nolan after all.
    – cde
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 0:03
  • But it's not all about the attention, it's about instilling goodness in people's lives. Giving them something extraordinary to stop worrying about the ordinary. Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


I'd say probably not. In fact, according to this interview I'd say he sees them as two sides to the same coin:

"I've also met enough magicians now to know there's a certain amount of truth to the way we've portrayed the rivalries and conflicts that can happen between them. Obviously, we've exaggerated it hugely for dramatic effect, but at the core of what a magician does, there is this massive, almost obsessive secrecy, and a lot of insecurity. They're people whose fame and fortune, by definition, is all based on the methods behind these tricks, most of which are pretty trivial and if you knew how they were done, you'd be very disappointed. They've built their entire lives around these methods, and all these untruths and insecurities mean there's a very extreme approach to their work."

Source: Christopher Nolan on The Prestige

  • That's a good perspective to look at it from! Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 20:43
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    That quote, while interesting, doesn't really that much adress the primary conflicting opinions the question asks about, though. I fail to see how Nolan "sees them as two sides to the same coin" in that quote you gave. It just seems to be about being secretive about your tricks because they're what you make a living and a name of, which is an important aspect of the film, but doesn't really relate that much to the actual question, let alone to your claim about Nolan's alleged opinion on the matter.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 10:15
  • I also see the rivalries in The Prestige as perhaps a taste of what goes on between Christopher Nolan and his brother, Jonathan. Given they both work in movies/TV, it's not hard to imagine they engage in some brotherly competitions along the way.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 4:17

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