The Dark Knight Rises – A Grand Finale

Entirely contrary to Austin, I absolutely loved this movie, both from a media/film perspective, and more importantly, from a story perspective. I will try to avoid giving any kind of spoilers besides character’s names.


Firstly, in response to Austin’s criticism, the opening plane sequence is perfectly explained to the person who pays attention to the film. There was one civilian on that plane, a Dr Pavel, I believe, and he is later instrumental to Bane’s plans. Secondly, how do you mention the Joker when the actor is dead? I think it’s perfectly fair of Christopher Nolan to put the Joker in the past. And finally, the themes, such as anarchy, aren’t spelled out to the viewer because, like all great stories, it assumes some level of intelligence in the audience.

Without getting into a play by play of what happens in the film, here are my thoughts. The film has stunning sights, extraordinary character depth, and a grand finale the likes of which I haven’t seen in many a while. Sufficed to say, it makes the nightmarish 19-Years-Later seem exactly as garish as it read, and does exactly what that literary scene monumentally failed to do.

Bane is portrayed exactly as he should be: an agent of freedom. Of course, this isn’t the kind of freedom we’d normally talk about, because what Bane views as oppression is what we view as something of great importance.

We see a totally new side to Bruce Wayne. In the past two movies, he’s been the untouchable Dark Knight of Gotham, but, possibly because of several brilliantly written revelations, we see him not as the legend he tries to become, but as the man, the human being, that he is.

And of Catwoman, most definitely my favourite character in the film, few things can be said. Superb acting from Anne Hathaway and brilliant writing by Christopher Nolan make her a character at war with herself, a person on the cusp of the one defining moment that all characters of brilliant literature have. That one choice, that can alter everything. And while her answer might be predictable to lover of great characters like myself, it is nonetheless greatly enjoyable to watch her develop as a character. So, yes, I loved Catwoman in the film. Definitely my favourite character.

From a film perspective, the movie has such beautiful sequences that they are difficult to capture with words, and the ever amazing musical accompaniment, courtesy of the superb Hans Zimmer, make this film a true visionary masterpiece of cinema. The film blends a dramatic finale with an action epic, and unlike any other film I’ve seen in the last decade, is flawless in its execution.

This third and final film in what is likely to be known as Nolan’s Batman Trilogy for years to come is no less epic than any other superb cinematic trilogy, no less brilliant than either of the Star Wars trilogies, or Lord of the Rings, or The Matrix. In fact, this trilogy deserves to sit atop that great pedestal of trilogies.

And because this is Competition Writing, not Competition Film Club, I’d like to say, quite honestly, that if this movie was made as a book, I’d review it with as glowing praise as the film. A story is merely the first dimension of conveying something. The second is undoubtedly film. And like all dimensions, they cannot exist beautifully if they are not in concert, and of equal brilliance. So it should be sufficient to say that I thought this film was absolutely beautiful.

As for a rating, well, if I’m to be constrained by the concept of stars as a system, I’ll at least use the power of metaphor to convey what I think this movie deserves. Next time you’re outside at night, look up at the sky. And if you can see more than five stars wherever you are, something like the amount you can see is what I’m giving this film.



One thought on “The Dark Knight Rises – A Grand Finale”

  1. The plane sequence is not perfectly explained. For spoilers sake; I shall only say “blood”.

    You can quite easily mention a character if the actor who plays that character is dead. The Joker was a major character in the last film who crippled Batman emotionally; I felt there was a lack of closure.

    My other criticism is not that the film did not spell out the themes; it is that the depth simply is not there. The film teases at such themes without exploring them effectively. There is no subtext.

    I do realise how weak my “critique” was. All I did was list my complaints without any elaboration or explanation. I left the cinema disappointed, and I wanted to vent my frustration while the film was fresh in my mind. It is a good movie; but I do not believe it is a great movie. I really wanted to love it as much as you do, but as a major cinephile I recognised that the film had problems. I’ll write a proper review soon.


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