Now don’t worry – I am not going to give any major plot lines away to those who wish to remain in the dark until they see it, however I could not NOT talk about the film. I can’t contain it.
I have to admit, I was not a massive Batman fan. Up until a couple of years ago, the extent of my Batman experience was the Warner Bros cartoon that I used to watch as a child (and be slightly scared of) and the Adam West series of the sixties. Having been introduced to the opening scene, and only that one scene, of The Dark Knight with The Joker and the bank by my boyfriend a couple of years ago, I was still a complete novice. I thought that scene was a good scene. That was it. Maybe because I always saw it at 11pm after a fair amount of wine and beer and inevitable meat, I wasn’t really in the mood to watch an epic feature film. Especially an action thriller regarding a superhero.
I gave in and watched The Dark Knight. I loved Heath Ledger as an actor and I felt I needed to watch his performance of The Joker in a way of respect – seeing as that role essentially contributed to his death. I immediately fell in love with the story and had to then see Batman Begins (an odd order, I know) so then I could understand Bruce Wayne’s background. It was really only after that film that I felt for Bruce Wayne. “Felt” is the only word I can really use as I can’t empathise or sympathise, being detached from this fictitious billionaire. Suddenly it all makes sense. I can understand why Bruce Wayne is the way he is and does what he does.
Because of the loss of his parents, he blames himself, the government and the city and take it upon himself to rectify what is wrong with Gotham under the guise of Batman, concealing his identity, and continuing with his family’s business during the day. But of course, you already know this.
Despite certain critics, professional and amateur, I loved The Dark Knight Rises. At the end, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move and in spite of being cold at the beginning of the film, I was covered in sweat (mm lovely). All I could say was “fuck”. I did have a few criticisms of the film, don’t get me wrong, which in all honesty took away nothing from the film. I understood from reviews that there was an issue with Tom Hardy’s Bane mask where some things he was saying were inaudible and I had my usual nick with Christian Bale’s Batman voice (sorry, you are a gorgeous man but I don’t like your Batman voice). However I knew these things going into that film and my view of the film at the end was not affected by them.
I have seen a few people on Tweetbook that have slated the film – contrarians – and have wrongly compared it to The Dark Knight. Nolan deliberately ended that chapter after Heath Ledger’s death. The Daily Fail accused it of being humourless – and I have no idea where they got that from as Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Catwoman was smartly witty, with quickfire one-liners that undermine Batman superbly. And that was one character from an entire catalogue.
It was the first film I have ever seen where I have been left speechless at the end of it. The next morning, going to work, I still had that ball in my throat and that quickened heartbeat that the film left me with. Unfortunately it was a shit day at work so those emotions had gone by the time I returned home, however, I know that as soon as I see that film again, those same feelings will return.
The only problem is that I will get that inevitable downer after you see a brilliant film, come out with your heart racing, eyes wide open and jaw hanging and realise two things.
1) There will never be another Batman film like this. Maybe even a film like this, full stop. This is the end of the Nolan trilogy as such, and Christian Bale is drawing a line under this chapter in his life. Although Christopher Nolan will be contributing to the next film, it will be a completely different. And no more Christian Bale to drool at. Sorry had to add that in there. It’s not like I’ve fancied him for a while! Literally in the past week!
2) You have come back to reality. Back to work. Back to a boring humdrum life with not nearly the amount of excitement and thrill as the film you have just experienced on screen. No billionaire throwing lavish parties in penthouses and mansions and telling everyone to fuck off. No complex machines that can get you from one part of the city to another in seconds. No motorcycle that can turn a right-angle at full speed (God I want a Batpod). No saviour coming to rid the world of its problems.
I also understand that the underlying message is that anyone can be a hero. This was a main theme of The Dark Knight Rises. It is true. Anyone can. They just need to be a billionaire and Bruce Wayne.