‘The Dark Knight Rises’, the final episode of Nolan’s Dark Knight series of movies is already a hit, worldwide. Not a lot superhero movies have enjoyed a mass appeal amongst the audience that appreciate a sense of seriousness to characters and the plot, as the Dark Knight series, especially since the second movie in the series, ‘The Dark Knight’ came out in 2008. Christopher Nolan has been looked upon by many as ‘the’ brightest mind that Hollywood has ever been blessed with, and Chris has continuously proved his ability to collaborate with high quality actors, technical staff and sound artists to create movies that have almost redefined quite a few genres of modern English cinema. He’s a gifted artist, a director with a mind like that of a ‘scientist’, a director who pays attention to the tiniest of details, no matter how commercially successful the project is meant to be, the plot is always ‘complex’ enough to interest the intellectual audience (TDKR and ‘Batman Begins’ were very commercially appealing projects, ‘Batman Begins’ more so, in my opinion). Beginning with ‘Following’ in 1998, Nolan’s work has always left audiences awestruck. I attempt to summarize my view on his ‘Dark Knight’ series in this post, your comments are highly appreciated.
Defining Batman: ‘Batman Begins’ – 2005
Christopher Nolan was a big name in the industry by now, ‘Memento’ (2000) being the biggest contributor to his fame. However, the project crafted under Warner Group’s banner was produced by the trio of Larry Franco, Charles Roven and Nolan’s wife Emma Thomas. I can’t exactly figure out why the movie was so commercially oriented (Chris admits that both TDK and Batman Begins were, so that he could fund his dream project ‘Inception’, however I don’t agree with him about the former). Even then, it was one hell of a movie, one I won’t recommend you miss.
Bruce Wayne, heir to a multi billion dollar empire, is suddenly orphaned when a petty thief accidentally shoots both his Mom and Dad while attempting a loot on them. Bruce, totally shocked and enraged by the incident decides to avenge his parents’ death and goes on a ‘vacation’ to discover a way to do so, it’s then that he meets Ra’as al Ghul and trains as a part of his ninja cult. When back in Gotham, Bruce reinvents the ideals his father had nurtured in him and realizes that liberating Gotham from organized crime would be the most suitable way he could satisfy both, his anger and the piece of his father in him. Nolan helped audiences explore Batman’s saga in a whole new fashion, essentially redefining Batman for the world.
Chaos: ‘The Dark Knight’ – 2008
It’s rare that a villain in a superhero movie is better hailed than the superhero himself, and TDK’s Joker adds to the list of these exceptional achievers, thanks to Heath Ledger’s brilliant work. Joker, a psychopath that doesn’t necessarily require reasons to his actions, strikes Gotham and spreads chaos everywhere. Batman, the city’s savior collaborates with the police and the new, resolute DA, Harvey Dent to restore stability and peace in the city. Joker however, had his own plans which he executes well enough to get batman to a point where he had to make a choice no superhero has ever been depicted to make in history. Those who appreciate quality cinema would agree that this movie totally redefined the audience’s idea of a superhero movie, however it’s not just about how it ends but also how the movie progresses, how characters are defined. Nolan’s work on TDK was the best you’ll ever see on a superhero movie and this movie goes down as the best action/superhero movie ever, in my book.
The Colorado shooting, is an extreme example of how this movie and it’s characters touched the masses, however that’s what would be remembered by most and not what the makers depict batman did to preserve a calm and crime-free environment in his city. I hope that joker’s remembered as a character not just for his notoriety but for the fashion in which it was portrayed by Heath.
Testing what’s old: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ – 2012
The legend ends and it ends well, the ‘epic’ conclusion was as epic as it was claimed to be. Totally original, exhausting and involving piece of cinema from Nolan again. Batman, Gotham’s notoriously acclaimed ‘dark knight’ is now gone as the city is relieved from organized crime. But just when police seemed to have a hold of things, a huge underground movement headed by Bane, originally kept secret for long and funded by ill-willed corporate elements from the Wayne Empire, surfaces. While Bruce Wayne let’s go of the business and isolates himself to remorse Rachel’s death, the Wayne Empire hits the lows. Batman is eventually made aware of how much the city needed him now and that he had to return so that the city could be stabilized again. Revealing any further would be spoiling the experience for those who haven’t yet watched the film, so I’d stop here and only say that this movie depicts the dark knight being challenged to his physical and mental limits. Nolan explores details beautifully once again, and another tip would be, don’t be scared of the movie being 2hrs and 44 mins in length, trust me, you’d be begging for more when it ends. Robin’s coming? I don’t know, but it’d be awesome if he does.
It’s sad that the series ends, but every legend has to end, though it remains in our hearts forever. ‘Dark Knight’ which I’d prefer to call it, over ‘Nolan’s Batman Series’, I won’t hesitate to say is the best superhero movie series ever beyond any doubt. So, if you’re a Nolan/Batman/Cinema fan, you need to go and watch the movie now and experience the end of the legend in a memorable way.