The Dark Knight Rises

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For the first time Batman bored me. Not the movie, but Batman. He was old and grumpy and sad and desperate and hopeless about life, about being Batman.

However, with a really good story line and terse screen writing, the movie is entertaining. There is one character that appears to be worth an enemy for the Bat guy—Bane, the muscle man and wizard of the ‘cone-revolution’, in The Dark Knight Rises. Bane comes to town, proclaims to be a ‘liberator’ and conquers Gotham city in no time, with the help of cones and inmates of the state prison. What attracts the most is his accent and voice that booms out through some sort of a mask that—we understand at the end—helps him breathe.
Tom Hardy as Bane
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Bane used to be a member of the League of Shadows, the same bunch of supremely wrought fighters who taught Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego (clarification for those who are too much into the Marvel Universe and ignore the DC entirely) how to kick some asses.

Batman’s tricks and skills are inefficient in front of Bane. According to Bane’s own convictions he is fighting against the corrupt and amoral wealthy guys, who stampede towards the poor and crush them. Bane is the revolutionary who is not reluctant to kill and one critic, Slavoj Zizek even called this character a contemporary Che Guevara. Tom Hardy merges himself into the role and we have a wonderful character.

Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle
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Other than Bane and a couple of characters from the law enforcement, one more character might hold your attention. Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway. She is crucial to the story. You may think she could be Batman’s girlfriend, if you haven’t watched the movie yet. But you have to wait for that part, at least until the next installment.

She enters the story as a jewel thief and her character undergoes a positive transformation through the story. It is clear that there is more to her that what she appears to be.

Three characters in The Dark Knight Rises are round characters—characters that undergo transformation. One of course, is Bruce Wayne. Second is Selina Kyle. The third character, who not quite insignificantly worries about a lot of questions of moral and ethical nature and finally realizes that the less trodden path sometimes offers better answers is Robin John Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is a police officer who works with James Gordon, the Gotham City Police Commissioner, against the evil that grows at high rate after Batman’s recluse. But the system is corrupt and inefficient. So John Blake must find a way to fight evil and corruption in his own grounds, without an official body to control his actions. At the end of the movie, John Blake finds a mysterious cave, equipped with a lot of state of the art Bat-technology. Note his first name once again—Robin. Does it light a bulb? Yes, this could be the first part of the ‘post-Large Hadron Collider’ Batman series to feature Robin, his beginnings.
Gordon and Oldman
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James Gordon is played by Gary Oldman. He is as good as ever. Alfred Pennyworth struggles with the deterioration of the moral strength of Bruce Wayne. The obedient servant is forced to take some strong decisions to shake the Bat out of his sleeping cave. And Michael Caine is just the best in playing this role.

Miranda Tate, performed by Marion Cotillard, is beautiful and Bruce has all the right reasons to fall for her, until the end when things have a different turn to take. Morgan Freeman too is there among the brilliant line of performers, with his character Lucius Fox.

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Acting wise, there is one person who falls in the middle of a great expectation and delivers the best as well—the actor who plays the title role. If he could not make it work, the whole stuff would turn into garbage. Playing an older and much exhausted Batman, Christian Bale, does his job with perfection, to the point that you can’t blame anyone if you are made to think that Batman appears boring or hopeless at the start of the movie. Christian Bale exerts the desired impact through his performance.   

The Dark Knight Rises is directed by Christopher Nolan. He worked with his brother Jonathan Nolan on the screen play and with David S. Goyer on the story. Apart from all the action and special effects, there is a crucial idea that remains mostly hidden in The Dark Knight Rises. It is the wish to start anew. Selina Kyle eagerly attempts to start her life afresh with all her criminal records expunged. However, at the same time, she is not very hopeful either about this restart. She doubts that in this era of the Internet when everything regarding your past, present and even future will be written and saved in some database.
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The answer is the movie.

I would not give stars to any of my reviews. So please do not look for them here. After reading the review, you will know whether to watch the movie or just to dump it. Smile.


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