Posted by: Prashanth Rajan | July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight rises – A fan boy review

[Warning : This fan-written review contains NO SPOILERS]

What a perfect ending to a amazing franchise ! I had always been a huge DC comics fan, and jumped at the first opportunity to grab a read of the Batman comics every time I paid a visit to the doctor and had to wait my turn [Cool doctor. No ?].

I know there are a lot of reviews out there, some good, while some are not completely insightful into the intricacies of Nolan’s masterpiece and epic conclusion to the Batman trilogy. But this is a total out and out ravish review from an avid Nolan fan and a huge comic book lover.

I can’t help but laugh at the short sightedness of some of the so called acclaimed movie critics. Somehow I felt that the viral marketing campaigns that had gripped the world has had a psychological toll on the critics, who in my opinion had just compared the movie to its predecessor or had blamed the pace of the movie or lamented the need for new characters. Let me get this straight. Nolan has given the Batman franchise an entirely different tone compared to say Tim Burton’s treatment. The tone is dark, the tone is serious. Let me tell you this. ‘The Dark knight rises’ is different from its predecessor and for good reason.

Coming to the characters, Nolan is known for giving a great sense of depth to his characters, and this movie is no different. Michael Caine as the faithful butler Alfred provides a sense of humaneness in the movie and his role explores the compassion and emotional attachment he has towards the Wayne family. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the young Gotham cop stands for ideals Gordon and Bruce stood for when they were young, the sort of ideals that Gordon forsake due to years fighting cops and learning that there is a price to pay for Gotham’s streets to be clean. The guilt that Gordon lives with for all these years after the happenings of the ‘The Dark Knight’  – a result of collapsing ideals of truth and justice. Anne Hathaway as Cat-woman is a fine addition – all the while suggesting that when the adversary is too great, it is only obvious that even the dark knight might need a helping hand. All characters have an equally important role in the movie and form and important part of the cogwheel.

Most of the people complain that the first half is slow paced and was not as good as the pacing of the second movie. Well, I will tell you why the pacing of the movie was how it was. TDKR shows Bale as a much older Bruce Wayne, who is reluctant to don the mantle again, knowing very well these years of physical and mental excruciation has taken a toll on him but is forced to do nevertheless because of the situation that arises. The first half was essentially an important part of the storytelling because it showed how vulnerable Bruce has become, both physically and emotionally as a direct result of the consequences of the ‘The Dark Knight’. How all other characters rise up and become fearless in the second half and unite to protect their city when faced with a great evil – the notion that the Batman is a symbol of hope – and that everyone is a hero in their own right.

Critic point – Bane isn’t as good as the Joker.

This seems utterly senseless and complete bullshit. The joker was all about anarchy. Bane on the other hand is influenced by Ra’s Al Ghul and is entirely a concept based on physical brutality and orderness. If you were a comic book fan like me you would realize that both the Joker and Bane are completely different personalities. No doubt Ledger has immortalized himself as one of the silver screen’s greatest villains, but Hardy as Bane is as good as Bane can be. Hardy has done incredibly well and his eyes emote the cold feelings he possess, which was a result of his harrowing past.  As a terrorist leader who possesses incredible mental and physical strength, his character is slightly deviated from the comic book version (where he is more like a 8ft tall physical monster, the focus on the physicality more than the intellect). Tom Hardy possesses an amazing body language which complements his physique and he commands incredible screen presence . The eerie scare that he brings every time he appears on screen is seemingly evident. In other words, Hardy is brilliant as Bane. Scary. Intimidating.

The production values are extraordinary and the sense of realism in all its raw form just goes to show how much Nolan has invested to make the movie realistic – from building an entire underground mock sewage system as Bane’s hideout or the deep pit where Bruce is holed up. Not to mention the blowing up of the rugby stadium. Nothing short of spectacular. Apart from the brilliant set pieces that Nolan has created, his non insistence of CGI wherever possible, everything is astounding and you can feel the epic grandeur of the movie hit your face. The movie goes into a whole new dimension when Bane takes command of the city. The feeling is truly exhilarating.

Hans Zimmer’s music for the movie is on an all-time high and grips your senses. From Bane’s kickass introduction to the anguish and suffering that Batman faces, from Gotham’s lockdown by Bane to Bruce’s revitalization, the music keeps you engrossed in a sense that it is not loud – it is just blends too well with the movie’s pace. The score reflects the depth and realism of Nolan’s storytelling perfectly.  Two of my favourite scenes were when the Batman comes back to action after a long hiatus, and the scene where Bruce makes the jump – these scenes were absolutely out of this world – that whole increased pulse sensation was evident. The moment I left the theatre hall, it did take me some time to come back to my senses and let my mind exit Nolan’s Gotham.

There are a whole lot of subtle references and certain parts in the movie will you make you realize that Nolan has crafted a whole lot of hidden clues within the storyline (The whole Bane-seige of Gotham in the movie hints at a nightmarish kind of post-occupy wall street scenario) – I don’t want to spoil the fun by revealing more such hints, I know the joy when you find out something –  A whole lot of fun when you discover them yourself ain’t it ? Anyways while many still believe and compare the movie to ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘The Dark Knight rises’ is a perfect ending to a great franchise, and without doubt the best movie of 2012.

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Responses

  1. As Compared to Spider Man this is good one really good movie. And your Review is nice in which you mentioned About Han’s music is quite good 🙂 and the critic point was also good. Keep it Up Prash. Its Nice to read your review. Keep posting more reviews after that only i will go and watch the movie hereafter 😀

  2. Same thoughts. Its ridiculous when Bane is compared to Joker. Two different functions. Apples and Oranges. Do you see Batman jumping around and acting like Joke, then why expect Bane to do the same? Funny fellows. Good movie, the best movie of the three. Classic ending. Best trilogy.

  3. Nice review.

    I liked TDKR for bringing the story of Bruce Wayne full circle. Chris Nolan has created one of the best trilogies ever. Chris Bale was phenomenal as Bruce Wayne.

    Cheers!


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