The VictorianEra Mystery Thriller The Prestige

The nature of their business introduces a basic level of deceit as this is the magician’s job. However, there are multiple levels of deceit included in the story as each magician attempts to deceive the other or to deceive the world. Through the careful application of film noir techniques, Director Christopher Nolan is able to expose and extend these major themes of the Victorian-era mystery thriller The Prestige written in 1995 by Christopher Priestley.
Film noir basically means ‘black’ film in the sense that the images, music, subject matter and filming style are all coordinated to produce a dark, brooding emotional reaction. They are characterized by dark rooms and filtered light, crowded back alley city scenes and neutral or no color pattern. “Film noir, occasionally acerbic, usually cynical and often enthralling, gave us characters trying to elude some mysterious past that continues to haunt them, hunting them down with a fatalism that taunts and teases before delivering the final, definitive blow” (“Film Noir”, 2004). The film form was first developed in the 1940s and is not often filmed in its strictest form today, few are filmed in strictly black and white for example. Despite this, there are many common elements of film noir that are used in films today.
Protagonists in film noir are usually illustrated as “morally ambiguous low-life from the dark and gloomy underworld of violent crime and corruption. Distinctively, they were cynical, tarnished and insecure loners (usually men), struggling to survive –&nbsp.and in the end, ultimately losing” (Dirks, 2007).&nbsp. This description fits both Angier and Bolden as they are revealed through the film.&nbsp. Angier has fled from his past as a means of protecting his family, suggesting that his entrance into the world of magic represents for his family an entrance into the ‘dark and gloomy underworld.’&nbsp.&nbsp.