Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Prestige

For those who haven't already, I highly recommend watching Christopher Nolan's The Prestige - for the movie-buff's ultimate treat that the film is, for a better understanding of this post and for a thorough and complete understanding of why Scarlett Johannson is the World's Sexiest Woman Alive. Anyway...

Every love story consists of three acts. The first act is called 'The Pledge'. Two ordinary people meet under mostly ordinary circumstances in what looks like a seemingly ordinary coincidence...but of course, it probably isn't. For the two people in question, just as for everyone else around, the moment appears deceptively insignificant and in most cases one looks back at this moment fondly only when the end is reached. 'The Pledge' is usually a brief meeting, the people in question surely have other important things in their life, atleast for the time being, and therefore before long "all ends well...but all is not well". The only takeaway for the moment is that the meeting is pledged as a scathing streak of memory burnt at the back of the mind.

The second act is called 'The Turn'. The ordinary pledge turns into something extraordinary. Now, if you are looking for a secret something, a reason perhaps, a glimmer of a hint as to what has just transpired, you won't find any. But the turn has occured and things have mysteriously changed. For people who have actually been through the agony of being in love, these lines are but mere dangling threads as compared to the intricate weave of emotions experienced at this stage. Symptoms that I have personally observed at 'The Turn' include long walks, sorrowful alien cries, recurring acute coronary thrombosis, acquired and inflicted insomnia and fluid diets as the stomach turns every other second.

Another reason why I'd like to call this 'The Turn' is that different stories take different turns at this stage. Some are followed by an easy second meeting. Some others take eons. Some click into place instantly. Others take superhuman effort. 'The Turn' sometimes brings them closer, sometimes it take them farther away. Sometimes these turns are chosen on purpose by the people involved, to facilitate further contact while in others the people are but lost in the labyrinth and it is upto destiny to take the driver's seat. Timelines extend from a few hours to a decade, sometimes even more...

But the story does not end here. To complete the love story or for the incident to atleast qualify as one, there needs to be an ending. That's why there is another act.

The third act is called 'The Prestige'. This is the part with the twists and turns. Where everything hangs in the balance. By now, the lives of the two people have already been entwined irrevocably, the result sometimes looking like a badly tossed, messy spaghetti dish at a roadside pseudo-chinese bistro. But the time has now come for the final showdown. One final decisive meeting, 'The Prestige'. Feelings are expressed, truths revelaed, emotions let loose and the insanity confessed. The most complicated knots are disentagled and rewoven into a beautiful pattern as souls unite and the two people head out as one to a common utopian epilogue.

This is why, perhaps, love is often referred to as magical.

Or perhaps it is because, just like in a magic trick, things can go unpredictably and horribly wrong at the Prestige...