Thoughts On The Batman Saga (Has Spoilers)

[This post contains SPOILERS. DO NOT READ if you have not seen The Dark Knight Rises. For those of you interested in my opinion of TDKR: It is a solid summer entertainer that is well-worth the entrance. However it, in ITSELF, is not a classic for the ages, in the way that The Dark Knight was.]

Of all the popular superheroes, Batman, for me, has always been the most colorless. Look at his threads, for a start. A grey-black body-suit that lacks sorely the primary colors of a Super or a Spiderman. And what about his powers? Can’t stop a speeding train with his chest. Can’t see through clothes. Can’t spin webs. Can’t feel a tingle when there is danger close-by. Sure the man has some cool gadgets and a nice car but a superhero, aah, a superhero is defined by something almost transcendentally spectacular, something that elevates him above the realms of mortal-dom. That’s why Batman always seemed to need a strong supporting cast—the riotously plumed Robin to provide some physical color and a plethora of enormously colorful villains, enough to fill up one whole Lovecraft-inspired Arakham Asylum, to provide a degree of reflected bad-assery: if some one has so many super arch-enemies, it stands to logic that he must be quite the cat’s whiskers.

It was this essential problem with the character of Batman which I felt lay at the core of why the original pre-Nolan Batman films were such a disappointment—the makers just could not make him stand. They tried. They had Robin. They roped in Alicia Silverstone at the height of her bouncy appeal. They snagged Clooney. They brought in almost all of Batman’s major nemeses and had A-listers play them. Hell, they even made Clooney’s Batman have extra-erect nipples for those who buy tickets just for these things. Yet the franchise kept sinking lower with every successive installment, with the final entry beating even Adam West’s “Same bat time, same bat channel” television-rendition of “Holy Moly Batman” in its sheer campy hilarious deliciousness.

It required the genius of Christopher Nolan to rescue Batman from this deadpool of cinematically-crippled superheroes.

The way he accomplished this was, at the heart of it, quite simple.

He defined Batman’s superpower, unique in that it did not come from genetic mutation, alien parents, a military experiment or a lab spider.

It came from his humanity.

Or more precisely from two of humanity’s most noble defining characteristics.

One is, of course, man’s continuous striving to “rise” towards something greater. “Batman Begins” chronicles the beginning of that journey of ceaseless self-improvement first through the most extreme of physical conditioning and then through the conquering of fear itself. The Dark Knight Rises takes it to a glorious conclusion in its greatest sequence,(the only one that I felt truly transcended the narrative), when Bruce Wayne, with his back literally and figuratively broken, ascends the Lazarus Pit of darkness, death and despair towards “light” and “freedom”, ironically by embracing fear again. But fear of a different sort—one that stems not from the instinct of self-preservation (what will happen to me if I fall) but from empathy (what will happen to others if I cannot make it).

Which brings us to the second super-human (with emphasis on human) characteristic of Batman.

His empathy.

It is this empathy, the ability to “put a coat over a scared child” as Batman so beautifully puts its, that in Nolan’s world defines a superhero.It is that empathy that makes him embrace calumny at the end of “The Dark Knight”. It is this empathy that separates Batman from his nemeses—while both he and Bane may feel “love” towards a special someone, only Batman can feel for the whole of humanity. Which is why Batman wins while Bane, despite his overwhelming physical advantage over Batman, does not. And finally it is this empathy that is shown to define John Blake, whose entry into the Bat-cave at the end symbolizes the beginning of a new superhero.

It should be against the cosmic scheme of things to write so many words about Nolan’s Batman saga and not mention the word “Joker” once. Joker, the anti-Batman, one without an iota of empathy for any human being, a Nietzschean superhuman archetype, an embodiment of the absolute evil that may not be fathomed or reasoned with, the most terrifying visage of amorality possibly captured on screen (Hannibal Lecter looks possibly Spongebob in front of him), brought to life as much as by Heath Ledger’s bravura acting as well as, regrettably, by his death. It’s the kind of character that inspires serial killers and demented nut-cases. It’s the kind of character that makes a movie a genre-bending pop-culture phenomenon.

It’s also the kind of character that also kills a franchise, since it becomes almost impossible for any subsequent installment to raise the dramatic ante even further.

Nolan tries to side-step the shadow of Health Ledger’s Joker through deliberate creative choices. Since a large part of Joker’s nightmarish-ness stemmed from the knife-slashed smile extensions on the side of his lips, the festering wounds painted over on the mouth, Nolan chooses as Batman’s adversary someone whose facial expressions remain masked throughout. He makes that someone’s dialog-delivery flat and cold, as diametrically opposite to Joker’s maniacally joyous style as possible. The expectation was that the two would be epic in their own way and not be judged against the other.

The gamble does not work.For one, the metallic echo the Vader-lite mask puts to Bane’s words do not make him any the more menacing; just difficult to decipher. Even the lines that the ear does catch never quite chills the heart as “Why so serious?” did. Shorn of the underlying drama that defines the immortal characters of cinema, Bane is quite humdrum, more the Undertaker in Khiladiyon ki Khiladi meets Rahul of Dil To Pagal Hai than anything else. Forget comparisons with the Joker, Bane has trouble standing on his own. And remember it’s not his back that’s broken.

The Dark Knight had an intriguing meta-narrative—that when fighting total evil, one has to be prepared to do that thing the evil does not expect you to do. That is, the righteous have to be more evil than evil itself, a lesson that Alfred teaches Bruce Wayne through the “burning down the forest” parable.Leaving aside the “right” or wrong” of the so-called neo-con world view, the statement was bold, and most importantly artistically well-executed.

The Dark Knight Rising too has its own meta-narrative. That being that a “storm is coming” when the dispossessed (the canonical 99%) shall overthrow the 1% that leave so little ” for us”. Of course in Nolan’s neo-conservative world-view, the revolution of the dispossessed will be a holocaust of epic proportions, resisted only by heroic symbols of authority, as we understand it—the police and altruistic multi-billionaires. Provocative.

But here is the problem. Or rather two of them.

The symbolism of the meta-narrative is so heavy-handed that you wish Nolan would play it more subtle. Yes. I got it. This is the French revolution. The gutters. The storming of the Bastille. The ground “collapsing” under the feet of civilization. And then of course the cartoonish mock guillotine court with Scarecrow as the judge, more reminiscent of a street-play than a superhero saga.

The second problem is more severe and it stems from Nolan not being consistent in the message. A French/Russian’Khmer revolution would never have as its ultimate goal, a nihilistic “Blow everything up” philosophy of the al Ghul school. I would have been happier (and allow me a bit of liberty here) if Nolan had showed that even a revolution that starts from the noblest of intentions degenerates into a bloodbath because of the very nature of retributive violence. I would have been even happier if Batman had shown some novel emotional conflict (great narratives are all about multi-layered conflicts), perhaps a realization that the existing order for which he has fought for so long may not be worth maintaining as it exists, that the super-villain is, in essence, the dysfunctional system itself.

And that he, as Gotham’s savior, need not to destroy this enemy but do something even more difficult.

Redeem him.

Not run away with his lady love. Not die. But stay. And fight in a way he has never fought before.

That to me would have been a far more satisfactory resolution to the saga than the climax from Agent Vinod.

Maybe Nolan had just too many balls to juggle with in “The Dark Knight Rises”. There were the spectacular action set-pieces to coordinate and plan. There was Catwoman’s shapely derriere to capture. There was over-emotional Alfred’s teary-eyed Alok Nath act. There was cheerless Fox. There was the building up of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character (Justice League?). There was Bane. There was Marion Cottilard. There was the famous Nolan twist, which unfortunately, seemed less Nolan and more Anees Bazmi. There was the “fantasy” last shot (or was it?) which worked so poignantly in “Inception” (The spinning totem— does it fall or not? Do we care if we are in a dream or in reality, as long as we are with the ones we love?) but here seems formulaic and maudlin.

If only Nolan had focussed his creative energies more on the dramatic conflicts of the Dark Knight Rises rather than all these other things. If only.

It might appear, and justifiably so, that I hated The Dark Knight Rises. I did not. It had many amazing moments and is many cuts above the average big-budget summer smash-em-up. My disappointment stems from what I believe could have been done at the very end, given the genius of Nolan and given the build-up.

It would be mean-spirited though to end on a sour note. Because Nolan’s Batman’s saga does not deserve it. Yes there may have been mis-steps. Yes there have been opportunities missed. Yes the ending could have been better.

But even then it cannot but be accepted that the trilogy, in totality, is a spectacular cinematic achievement, a nearly perfect melding of commercial with the artistic, definitely the most finely nuanced and original fantasy superhero series ever,setting the bar high, very high, for those that will follow it.


70 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Batman Saga (Has Spoilers)

  1. First? i am not going to read this post though 😛

  2. …for the obvious reason: haven’t watched the movie yet.

  3. I feel TDKR is as good as the Dark Knight. Only flaw I see is it was not shot in Chicago like the earlier 2 movies with its elevated trains and high rises , may be b’coz most of the action scenes in this movie are in daylight.

  4. J. Alfred Prufrock July 24, 2012 — 3:19 am

    Arnab, this is one of your best-written pieces so far. Raises the bar, works both as movie review and as a stand-alone rumination. Loved reading it. Kudos.


  5. Spot on!

    I know, this is just to be one of the early commentators.:)

  6. Nicely put. I had the opinion that creating something spectacular was burdensome for Nolan. I am his biggest admirer (right from Memento). That the Dark Knight is the pinnacle of what could be achieved is comforting and disappointing at the same time.

  7. Na..Na..Na..Na..Batman !! July 24, 2012 — 3:22 am

    After walking out of the theater, my friend and I discussed the prevalence of the concept of hope in TDKR.

    Basically, the movie touches on how hope can manifest itself in different forms and how hope is used as a source of inspiration, despair, or as an act of mercy.

    The most obvious example is Batman himself. Bruce uses Batman as a symbol of hope for Gotham city throughout the trilogy in the face of difficult and trying times. In TDKR, perhaps the most relevant example of inspiring hope is when he lights up the bridge with the bat symbol in his triumphant return to Gotham.

    Bane, on the other hand, uses hope as a source of despair. You probably recall how Bane uses the nature of his prison in an attempt to torture and break Bruce’s spirit. The greater the hope Bane can give Bruce, the greater the despair that will follow when that hope goes unfulfilled. Bane uses hope as a weapon.

    John Blake, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, uses Hope as an act of mercy during the film’s climax. When it appears that the bomb’s detonation is inevitable, and the only road to escape has been destroyed by the National Guard, Blake commands the children to huddle and return back into the bus. While the situation appears hopeless, John Blake continues to try to give the children hope–even if it is a false one.

    Maybe Nolan just wanted the audience to be happy and content when we leave the story arc behind for the last time.

    On a side note If Batman Series was Inception

    The entire series was be Alfred’s hallucination as he developed dementia but that didn’t happen either because it was hallucinated by Bruce Wayne in the psych ward after his parents were killed by Alfred.

    Also, Alfred didn’t have his ring on. His ring was actually his totem and he only wore it while dreaming.

  8. I’m not sure about all the meta stuff. AFAIK, Nolan has borrowed from of series like Knightfall, No man’s land, Dark Knight returns, Year one etc. and meshed together a movie.

    OOC, When you write a novel, are you thinking about all this meta stuff and symbolism or you getting through a plot?

  9. Anonymous, One goes for the plot first. Then the “meta”. Then once the “meta” is fixed, the plot may be changed to fit the “meta”. Iterative development.

  10. When you like something (Kumble, Dravid, Dark Knight and now the Batman saga), you do pull out all the stops in making it poetic don’t you?

    This is the review we deserve.

    Don’t agree with the Bane thing though. I felt he was probably just as awesome, but in a diametrically different way from the Joker. The Joker was terrifying because of his sheer anything-can-happen craziness, his psychological games and Ledger’s performance was spellbinding. The Joker was always a flashy character, a diametric opposite to Batman’s dark brooding personality. So sparkling dialogue and mannerisms suit him. It would look out of place with Bane who even in the comics is a no-nonsense ruthlessly efficient character.

    He’s not the guy who can chill you with his dialogue or madness, but the guy who chills you because when he says “Gotham will be ashes” you know he is smart, brutal and fanatical enough to make it happen. That was something which the movie portrayed very well.

    The part about the ending is true – Nolan could have given us something new instead of doing the same thing that has been done since the days of Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem.

  11. A French/Russian’Khmer revolution would never have as its ultimate goal, a nihilistic “Blow everything up” philosophy of the al Ghul school.

    But it didn’t. As I understood it, in the movie, the al Ghul school (Bane) fooled the common people into thinking they were having a revolution, when in fact they were planning to blow these same people up, and this mock revolution was for them just entertainment until that time.

  12. Yes the Al Ghul’s logic is the specious one. It implies that those who lead people’s revolutions have a nihilistic intent from the start.

  13. This is for Christopher Nolan from his latest movie TDKR – “Victory have defeated You.”

  14. Did you see the trailer of “Man of Steel”?

  15. No the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum IMAX 70 mm had no trailers.

  16. I disagree with you on Bane’s description. He, in my belief, is not someone who is a psychopath like Joker. He is clinical, dour and efficient like Batman. Infact, he is Batman’s mirror image except that he plans to destroy Gotham. He is “Germany” while Joker was “Brazil”.

    The essence of TDK is the fact that Batman isnt your “regular” superhero. He gives us hope that ANYONE can be a “superhero”. You just have to make that “jump”.

  17. Loved the post. Although, am not sure why we are comparing Joker and Bane here, consistently. Both are different by miles, and Nolan treated them like that intentionally.

    Joker is a smart, brilliant villain, with a creative but sadist bent of mind. Suits the killer one-liners reserved for him in The Dark Knight.

    Bane on the other hand, is the physical brute, who speaks with his fists rather than with his words. Instance: Bane kills Dr. Pavel in the stadium with his bare hands, in spite of his henchmen with guns around. IMO, Nolan did not risk smartass one-liners because of the mask as well as to pass him off as someone who does not care for dialogue as long as he is getting his way. And his almost operatic rendition of menace through his flatlined voice is superb.

    Your thoughts?

  18. There was the building up of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character (Justice League?). – I strongly suspect that this is an avenue kept open for future Batman movies in the Dark Knight / knightfall universe mishmash with Azrael / Dick Grayson donning the Batman suite before Bruce Wayne returns. Maybe we shall also see spinoffs such as Red Robin / Nightwing / Red hood etc.

  19. I cried in part 2 where he sacrifices his Lamborghini to save a dumb ass accountant. If that is not the height of sacrifice then I do not know what is!!

  20. Absolutely loved Bane. He has a menacing presence through-out the movie (except how he meets his end). I do think that comparisons with Joker are pointless as Ledger died and everyone is generally euphoric about that last performance. Otherwise, he is one of the best villians in a long time with a plan and the capability to execute it (bloody Loki of avengers does not even come close to being a henchman of Bane)

  21. Great Review! Interestingly, there was no mention of the Joker in the movie. I loved the interpretation of Lazarus Pit by Nolan.According to me the best thing about the trilogy was that Nolan understood there was no need to include any super human abilities to any of the villains portrayed in the movie. Ra’s,Scarecrow,Joker,Bane et al were humans just like the Bat and to me that made a huge difference.Although it is a superhero movie you don’t need your villains to have super powers to make them super villains.Just by doing that he made all the villains even more diabolical. The Avengers (I loved it) seemed childish in comparison. Nolan has set the bar really high and I am now looking forward to a similar treatment to Superman in next year’s Man of Steel (Nolan is producing it). from my understanding, it is a reinterpretation of superman 2 (general zod and the others invading earth), which was the best superman movie from that series.

  22. I think everyone compares Bane to Ledger, not understanding what he is meant to be. On the one hand, Bane IS Batman himself – he’s had a traumatic past, he’s been trained by the same organization and he is as good a planner and believer in symbolism as Batman. He’s just dedicated to something different. The {SPOILER ALERT} Talia twist (which I for the record found awesome) further led us back to the first film, where Batman is taught the importance of illusion and misdirection. In essence, what he has been doing in this whole film is rediscovering and fighting himself. Which is what makes this film a brilliant and IMO extremely underrated conclusion.

  23. Its unfair this movie is constantly compared to “Dark Knight”. It stands well on its own.

    Few random things,

    1. Life comes full circle for Batman. His mentor’s ideology comes back to haunt him. Nolan gets this right. Every story should come full circle.
    2. Bane was merely pawn, he wasnt the brains. Miranda Tate/Talia was. So revolution thing can be assumed to be just a story weaved by Miranda to get more people in. Her aim was to finish her father’s task and avenge his death.

  24. Utsav Chakrabarti July 24, 2012 — 3:04 pm

    I have not seen the movie. I started reading your post knowing that it will be one of your best ones, given your passion and understanding of the Batman character. Still you outdid yourself. Just top class writing.

  25. TDKR was a great movie .Nolan disappointed in it.

    Twist was useless did not do anything for the plot or its meaning.

    Prestige > TDK > Memento > Inception > BB >Following > TDKR > Insomnia

  26. Brilliant review!! I have many similar thoughts as you thought you put it to words better. Here’s my take (a die-hard fan’s take) on the movie, not the saga:

    @Jai: My list is decently different from yours, but the top 2 remain the same.

    Prestige > TDK > Batman Begins > Memento > Inception > TDKR

  27. @Tejaswy:

    “I cried in part 2 where he sacrifices his Lamborghini to save a dumb ass accountant. If that is not the height of sacrifice then I do not know what is!!”


  28. WHY does everyone think that the take-the-bomb-out-to-sea thing came from Agent Vinod ? Do you honestly think Indian movies are that innovative ?

    It came to AV from Angels and Demons. Now on to TDKR. Which I didn’t like at all, BTW.

  29. GB,
    Speaking of movies, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate TDKR? And how would you rate Ra-One ? 😉

  30. What I could infer after watching TDKR was that Nolan tried to fit in a 5 hour movie into 2.5 hours.

  31. Bengal Voice, Let me reference my last review. Ratings and reviews are a function of expectation and context. 🙂 I would give TDRK a 7/10 and the whole saga a 9/10.

  32. hey Arnab,

    very well-written!! DKR comes nowhere close to its noirish, truly ‘dark’ predecessor. It required a truly monstrous arch-villain & all things against Batman seemed to be less than sum of their parts: Occupy Wall Street-like movement, Bane, Talia Al-ghul, her father, loss of his fortune, John Daggett. ALL of them together fell short of what Heath Ledger created.
    I could say this was the most commercial (as you pointed out they *had* to show Selina Kyle’s sporty derriere) & thus, weakest of the three so far!

    PS: you can’t dare put a negative comment against DKR these days, many reviewers had to disable comments!

  33. exactly my thoughts..u and i have a similar thinking process

  34. TDKR is a direct copy from our own agent vinod (new one). Same story. Similar endg. Similar suspense.

  35. @agent vinod…yes, the ending was copied from Agent Vinod. Plus it also lifted from “Chak de India” – “there is just one police in this city” was a lift from “har team mein kewal ek gunda ho sakta hai”.
    Most of the actors were seen in Inception too – which is a Suraj Badjatya Model.

  36. Prasun Banerjee July 25, 2012 — 10:35 am

    @Dhoni / AV – fight between Bane and Batman is lifted from the way Sanjay Dutt smashes Hrithik in Agneepath.

  37. i agree with you av/dfb/prasun…if hollywood needs masala…bollywood is the best place to copy from…this has happened before – Win a date with Tad Hamilton was copied from Rangeela…i am serious

  38. Arnab,
    Would like to present a slightly different perspective on these movies.
    While the first one was quite enjoyable, The Dark Knight really got into some “dark” themes (yeah, I know that was the intention), e.g. the whole notion of the good mayor turning bad (“Two face”) and then the whole Joker act and then the train full of criminals vs. normal people.
    These movies are directed at youngsters. The gratuitous violence and moral apathy of the Joker far outweighs whatever heroism Batman shows in that movie and one comes out of these movies more influenced by Joker’s antics. And for these reasons, I would have to give these movies a thumbs down.

    There’s enough darkness in ordinary life. I prefer my superheroes a little brighter…, just saying.

    Keep writing.
    -A wellwisher.

  39. @Agent Vinod/Dhoni Fan Boy – THE ENDING NOT COPIED FROM AV !!!!! It’s from ANGELS AND DEMONS.

  40. Worked for me even better than TDK

  41. I am a little disappointed that you have not yet written a piece on Rajesh Khanna, who popularized the bengali culture through his movies.

  42. @greatbong:

    Good analysis; for me the climax was the most disappointing part of TDKR.

    I’m curious to know which one do you rate better: Batman Begins or TDKR? and why?

  43. Metal,

    BB. Simple answer: BB was very refreshing when it was released and Scarecrow was damn scary. The expectations from a conclusion are always higher than from the set-up and given that, TDKR suffers.

  44. Hi GB,

    I was hoping to see an entry about the Kanti Shah interview on Rediff.

  45. Hi GB,
    I feel sorry that you saw Dark Kinght Rises but could not able to see Gangs of Wasseypur-I.
    I am waiting for your review of GOW-I.
    Please see it before GOW-II releases.

  46. if only people of city had started the revolution first against b4 batman re-enters the could have solve few problems

  47. This being my first comment on any of your articles, I would like to say that I am a fan of your articles…

    Coming to TDKR, frankly speaking, though being a good movie, it did not meet my expectations. Partly this is because of high expectations. More importantly the film lacked the battle on emotional level which was the USP of the other two.

    I even felt that Nolan was under pressure of coming up with an ending that could be used to create Avengers like movie, the way Marvel comics did by making Thor, Captain America, Hulk 1&2 and Iron Man 1&2. Probably this is the reason why Nolan is one of the producers of Man Of Steel…

    The good thing being- we might get more superhero movies from him… 🙂

  48. The topic I would like to comment on today, Good Sir, is your ‘BANE BASHING’ – please read on:

    –Not that I am an ardent fan or he makes me devotional, but fit he did, perfectly as well. You yourself did your bit by providing your brilliant contrast comparing him to Joker.

    — But then, why???

    –Bane not like cause you could not hear him? I didn’t see one reason worth a dime, let alone solid. You just sound like you have something personal against him or just that to make your point you are being active defensive.. weak. Very weak, especially coming from you.

    –“Why so serious?” – Of course, I love Joker. Full stop. But could any Joker stand up to THE Batman (who could fight 20 men from the start and was then taught to take on 200 in the league)? Let alone break his back? Batman himself wanted a confrontation – which was granted to him and yet he could never ever dream of what he had in store. That sequence didn’t leave an impact on you? Or do you think that *fighting* is something that brawny beef eaters or the ching chang lee’s do? To a MAN (I didn’t say ‘superhero’ – the way we see him as opposed to his own self-perception) who puts himself through “the most extreme of physical conditioning” and bank on this ability without using bullets or taking another’s life in vain, it is an unimaginably brutal and devastatively shattering failure – one which his being cannot afford and come to terms with. Wasn’t that confrontation artistic enough for you? Was it so devoid of emotion that you coudn’t connect? No, Sir, to him it was not a ring brawl. It was something else.

    –So, against Joker, he always had his self-doubts cause he wasn’t conditioned to overcome emotional turmoil and looking eye to eye into pure evil.
    –But, against Bane, he was prepared; trained exactly for that and still had his back broken. You say this was no test at all compared to former? Why cause you just saw a 4 push-ups and a couple of pull-ups on screen?

    It may not have *chill-ed your heart* but did it not even touch a chord? There is no underlying drama?

    –Nothing personal, Sir, but I think I know why this didnt leave an impact on you.. in psychological terms you couldn’t ‘identify’ yourself with the situation.. couldn’t form an association.. ask people who are into physical stuff – gym, martial arts, sports – about this.. I am sure they’ll know how any of that feels and tell you something you wouldn’t wanna hear.

  49. Good.Love.

  50. I am surprised we havnt seen a review of gangs of wasseypur from you. I feel it deserves to be in the top 20 list of best crime movies of all times. ??

  51. My take:
    1. It is a decent movie.
    2. I’d have preferred your ending.
    3. Bane made me laugh at times.
    4. Bane’s lines should have come with subtitles.
    5. The prison seemed too easy: wouldn’t any long-jumper have cleared it?

  52. 6. Why did Bruce Wayne and Talia have sex?

  53. Abhishek,

    6. If someone who looks like Marion Cottilard wants to have sex, who cares about the story?

  54. plz write abt manesar plant tragedy .

  55. You have been too kind here, GB. It’s an utter disappointment, looked like Nolan / the writers were severely short of ideas. Nolan managed to build Bane up as a sinister, chill-inducing force and then reduced him to a ridiculous caricature. His lines were only slightly less inane than the lines from Avatar. Most of the time, I couldn’t make out half of what Bane was saying. Below average, had nothing to offer. With a budget as big as this and Nolan with his A-team, you would think they could have done better.

    You’re right about Alfred – Alok Nath-esqu is right – Caine was cringeworthy.

  56. WHY SO SERIOUS? TDKR is being reviewed and criticized like it is a dissertation presented for doctorate! I believe TDKR had its heart in its place and it worked. Ever since its release, the so called “highly qualified critics” and “uber-smart ones” have been finding something to nag about this wonderful movie like little girls crying about getting chocolate flavored ice cream instead of strawberry! One cant have starters for main course and main course for dessert! Everything has its place and value and needs to be savored differently! There have been dumber movies which have had better critical reception and box office collections! Though TDKR is criticized for whatever may be the reasons it still has got very good ratings, but all one picks up from all those messed up reviews is “movie is a let down”! JUST RELAX & ENJOY IT!

  57. 2013. Superman by Nolan !!? There was a trailer.

  58. Superman – Man of Steel Trailer –

  59. Need your insight on this in a future blog:

    I think he finally came to his senses, but I’ll save the bouquets for when a party is actually formed and registered.

  60. 1.anne hathway was completely unnecessary.(except for the obvious reasons)
    2.ending would have been much better without showing bruce wayne at the table just alfred smiling or nodding in that direction would have been a perfect nolan ending
    3.bane simply uses his power and strength ,while joker believes “that deep down everybody is as ugly as him” only common factor among them is that they both believe that gotham’s citizens are corrupt rats.But while joker uses(or tries to use) gothams own immorality to destroy it,bane efficiently and crudely tries to punish gotham for it.My point being that, they both are terrifying villians but joker is much more cinematically entertaining.
    4.TDKR sometimes feels like a deja vu of batman begins because you know the way bruce wayne trains and stops the age old league of shadows plan
    5.The movie shouldn’t have been called TDKR because(its way too long,it needs to be acronymized, which I hate) it is much closely related to batman begins rather than the dark knight .It should have been called batman rises short and simple and also discourages you to compare it with the dark knight.

  61. Don’t agree with your point about Bane.Although we love to compare but we shouldn’t compare these two villains.I felt the metallic echo worked well for Bane with his brutal and raw menace along with his mask.Joker used to invoke loathing while Bane invokes fear.

    On the question of ending i think you have a point there.The redeeming and staying in Gotham would have been a good way to end the movie.Also the point about how any revolution started with noble intentions goes haywire because of the very nature of “retributive violence” would have been great.Even though Nolan tried by including the points about 1% living off the 99% and leaving so little for the “rest of us”.But it seems diluted because in the end it looks as if all the hoo haa about a revolution and getting our city back was just a bluff used by Talia for her mission to destroy the whole of Gotham including the 99 and 1%.So Nolan could have changed it a bit more and could have given more reason for the mayhem then just for her father(who had already said all he had to in BB about how the city was beyond repair with all the crime)So in a sense the city was being destroyed for the reasons already used in BB.
    But we have to accept its Nolan’s choice and in spite of all; the movie is great and i don’t agree with your rating of 7.

    @Chiron Agree with you.he does bring the best when writing about something he feels strongly about.One of THE best posts that i have read on this blog and i have read quite a few, almost all.

    @Abhishek Mukherjee Had the same question in mind but GB’s answer is pretty satisfactory. 🙂

  62. Well as am very sure that it was not meant to sound like Arrr..aaaah..cum… Asylum.. still it was Arkham Asylum 😛 . 😀

  63. Joker is pure evil ,Bane is necessary evil.

  64. “The Dark Knight had an intriguing meta-narrative—that when fighting total evil, one has to be prepared to do that thing the evil does not expect you to do. “

    What’s so intriguing about this meta-narrative? It’s as common as humanity itself – lohe ko loha kaat-ta hai, kaante ko kaante se nikalna padhta hai, set a thief to catch a thief.

  65. Batman was never a superhero, he never claimed to be one.
    But nice analysis !
    You remind me of my guardian ….Alfred P.

  66. This is one of the best scrutiny of batman saga I came across. I absolutely liked and agree to some your ideas/comments and still disagree with some.

    Indeed good article.


  67. I think the Dark Knight Trilogy is Star Wars of our generation(I’m a class XII student) . They have kept faith in humanity alive in a time where Justin Bieber sells millions of records and Ek tha Tiger is…well, you know what I mean.

  68. Maybe Nolan had just too many balls to juggle with in “The Dark Knight Rises”.

    this line sums it up. I’ve never been let down by a film as I was by TDKR. For me, the series ended at TDK.

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