The Prestige is about two competing magicians during the 19th Century, using revolutionary technologies and marketing to boost their popularity, and their ticket sales.
Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) is out to beat rival Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) using several common marketing tactics, such as selling the same product (or magic trick), but doing a better job of presenting and promoting it.
That is why this film isn't really about magic, it's about marketing.
Angier and Borden begin the film as friends, but then Borden's constant appeals to innovate scare Angier away, and they quickly find themselves competitors in the cutthroat world of Victorian entertainment.
Throughout the film, it's clear Borden is the better magician; however, Angier's genius is learning Borden's tricks, and leveraging them much better to gain more attention.
There is a constant need for both of these characters to outperform the other which leads to criticism, injury, crime and death.
In business today, magic tricks like Volkswagen making the need for proper fuel emissions disappear, are illegal.
However, in this magical world The Prestige has displayed, the proper balance of ethics and mayhem, safety and danger, combine in an awesome way to reveal the thin line between failure and fame is made up of innovation, execution and promotion. Enjoy!
Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.