Very few movies have me on tenterhooks, tense with anticipation and excitement. This year, 2012, ushered in an early onset of nerves; for The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit. Since I have precisely 5 months to build up to the second and am still reeling from the after-effects of an early morning showing of the first, I shall deal with the first.
I must say, before I get any more into it, Christopher Nolan is genius. The man is spectacular! He sustained a comic book character, that has been on screen since the 1960’s, through three movies, three brilliant storylines that have kept everyone on their toes.
One of the main reasons I’ve fallen in love with Nolan’s trilogy, starting with the first Batman Begins, is that he made Batman more human and realistic. “He could be anyone” to quote from the film and it comes through to you while you watch it, be it in Bruce Wayne‘s dulcet billionaire playboy tones, or in the gruff vigilante’s. He made it more than just a movie – which is usually supposed to be a popcorn & drink affair. He made it so real that you feel yourself being taken in by the story, you feel the pain, the fear, the exultation, the displeasure, the pleasure, the unworthiness, the tribulations, the injustice, the compassion… the need to make things right, to fix it, to be involved in something larger than life. It makes you want to believe. That was the essence, and the magic, that Nolan wove into each of his movies and he has ended it on an absolutely fantastic note. I could not have asked for more.
I haven’t watched a lot of superhero movies because they’re literally almost the same. Iron Man was good because of the dialog, The Avengers and The Hulk too. But it’s not realistic. I mean, when compared to Nolan’s Batman. At least to me. Most superhero movies stick with the theme of – I’m good, there’s a bad guy, I’ll try to beat him, I can’t, I’ll try again, and I win. Yes, in theory Batman is the same, but while you watch the movie you begin to deal with a tumult of emotions. Watch, for instance, the last few minutes of The Dark Knight.
You understand sacrifice and are left with a need to do more. It speaks to you on a human level, one you can identify with because it’s all true. Even the evil ones – Ra’s al Ghul, The Joker, Bane – are perfect. We see and hear of atrocities happening all over the world and the bad guys in the Batman series give you that. That men can be brought down by pure evil. Harvey Dent, for example. “(The Joker) took the best of us and tore him down” as Commissioner Gordon says in the second movie. Isn’t that true in real life? Corruption and manipulation?
There’s also the human spirit that Nolan emphasizes on. That mankind is not doomed to evil, that we not always need superheroes to save us. People are enough. People that have morals. Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist that he is, wants to do good for his city. That’s why he comes back and becomes the masked crusader. He believes that his city deserves more and is willing to sacrifice for it, as Batman. The innate faith in people is something that should exist and it’s beautifully brought out in all three movies.
I came out of the theater speechless. Literally. I’ve loved the movies, as I’ve stated before, and couldn’t have been more satisfied with the way it ended. It gave me all I wanted. I felt every possible humanly emotion at 6:00am in the morning and as I told a friend – I hyperventilated for approximately 160 minutes. Hans Zimmer‘s composition aided in making me feel that way because I was already in that tense, open eyed state since the soundtrack was release a few days before the movie.
This movie, along with the other two that make up the trilogy, will remain as one my all time favorites. Not just because of its darkness but because of its near accurate representation of reality. (Here’re some quotes from the trilogy, as a parting gift).
I think the following lines from J.R.R. Tolkien’s poem about Aragorn are appropriate:
“From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring”
“He is a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight.“