Fridge / The Prestige

Fridge Brilliance

  • There is plenty of bonus material and foreshadowing about Borden's big secret that he's actually two different people:
    • Christian Bale's performance is slightly different when playing the two brothers.
    • At the beginning Cutter tells Borden, "On some days you just don't get it do you?" One of the brothers, the one who wants to tie the Langford Double, is clearly the one who "doesn't get it" in the eyes of Cutter.
    • Borden says that he's "asked himself" many times which knot he tied on Angier's wife. He's talking about arguing with his brother. He also says he does not know which knot was tied, because that brother was not the one who tied the knot.
    • When Sarah says that some days Borden loves her and some days he does not. Borden explains in the end that only one of the brothers loved her, so when he doesn't mean it, those are the days when the unloving brother is playing Borden.
    • Angier notes that Borden's journal entry regarding what knot he tied had Borden "struggling with himself" and alternating between two different perspectives, which indicates that both brothers contributed their perspectives to the journal.
    • Borden uses his double trick on Sarah by breaking in to her apartment during their date and then magically appearing inside as she goes through the door. Borden's line of asking to be let inside for tea and then appearing with a tea kettle show that even this line was pre-planned.
    • Obviously, Fallon's sudden appearance and deep involvement in Borden's life, to the point of comforting his daughter, is because Fallon is also Borden.
    • When Sarah tells Borden that she's pregnant, he immediately says that Fallon should have been there to hear the news. In the same scene, Sarah notes that Borden doesn't love her today, so the brother playing Fallon is the one who loves her and is most likely the real father.
    • When Borden's daughter admonishes him that he promised to take her to the zoo, he's surprised and asks, "Did I?" then agrees to take her. He doesn't remember because he's not the one who promised, but has to abide by the other Borden's promises. He then has Fallon take her, who is in reality the brother who made the promise in the first place.
    • Some of Borden's lines sound on the first view like he's speaking out loud to himself, but he's actually addressing his brother.
    • Borden asks Fallon for help in reminding Sarah that he (Borden) really does love her. This sounds like Borden is asking Fallon to be his wing-man, but it's actually one brother requesting that the other brother, the one who doesn't love Sarah, to play his role as Borden more convincingly where Sarah is concerned.
    • When it all starts to fall apart and Sarah is being tired of lies, Alfred answers that lies are his lies, before correcting it and saying lies are their lives. He's not talking about him and Sarah, but about both brothers.
    • Just before Borden is executed, he says, "Abracadabra." He's about to pull off his final trick: dying and still being alive.
    • The whole plot of the movie was based on the very same trick at the center of the plot, only not on stage. It was done with twins after all.
    • Borden assures his wife that after performing the bullet catch trick, he will return to her no matter what. Even if the brother performing the trick died, there would still be the one playing Fallon that day to return to her.
  • Alfred Borden, Robert Angier. Cutter, Alley, Danton, Alfred Borden, Robert Angier. (Because there are two of each.) Put 'em together, and what do you get...? ABRA CADABRA
  • The motif of "simple" tricks with Borden, whose own greatest trick is actually very simple.
    • Borden shows Sarah the trick behind the bullet catch and she immediately says that the simpleness of the trick is disappointing. Borden is a bit annoyed by that reaction.
    • He tells Sarah's nephew not to tell anyone the secret of a trick, because learning the trick won't impress anyone.
    • Borden and Angier note that Chung Ling Soo's great trick is very simple, but requires him to "live" his trick to pull it off. Borden's simple trick is the exact same way.
  • The motif of doubles
    • The dove trick, in which one dove dies while another takes its place, mirror's Angier's version of the Transported Man. Angier addresses one as "the lucky one today." In performing his own trick, he'll have no idea which version of himself survives.
    • When watching the same dove trick, Sarah's nephew calls one bird the "brother" of the other. Borden's version of the Transported Man trick involves brothers acting as doubles of each other.
    • Cutter assures Angier that the only way he can think of to perform the Transported Man is with a double. Borden is using a double.
    • Angier's first version of the Transported Man involve him getting an imperfect double, which causes the trick to ultimately break down.
    • Tesla's machine creates doubles. When Angier asks which hat is his, Tesla responds, "They're all your hat." Thus, when Angier copies himself, both versions are him.

Fridge Horror

  • In a fashion reminiscent of Quantum Suicide, each time Angier uses Tesla's device, a perfect copy of himself is executed. From the dying clone's perspective, he's the Angier who set up the trap and survived all of the traps except this one, while the one who survives remembers surviving every single trap. Angier has no idea and no way of knowing whether the consciousness that pulls the lever is getting executed or surviving each performance.
  • Angier chose to drown his clones (rather than bury them alive or behead them or whatever) because Cutter had told him that drowning was peaceful and painless (Cutter probably made this up on the spot when he related the story at Julia's funeral in an attempt to make Angier feel a little better; that is, "She didn't suffer."). When Cutter tells him the truth, Angier gets an even sicker look on his face when he realizes that he's inflicted immeasurable agony on "himself" countless times.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/ThePrestige