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The Dark Knight Rises (2012) or livewithfilm sees Batman assuming the power of 140 characters…

4 Aug

From a rant against Romney to a capitalist affirmation of normative power, the diverse subtexts applied to The Dark Knight Rises have often resided at opposite ends of the spectrum. Well livewithfilm couldn’t face missing out on Bat Manbiguous (pretty good right?). Surely, if we are in the mood to scrabble around for contemporary analogies, The Dark Knight Rises is Batman does the Arab Spring. Livewithfilm wants to avoid all plot spoilers so it might be tricky to explain its point. However, the ‘revolution’ against a dictatorial figure seen in the film’s second act surely rings true to this analogy. Furthermore, the importance of technology to Bruce Wayne’s powers could be associated with the growing importance of social media in the widespread international uprisings; Batman has become the personification of a dissident twitter account that incites further unrest and unites the rebellious. Far from suggesting that the film is unfocussed, the presence of varying critical opinions such as livewithfilm’s shows the power of Nolan’s vision to support the weight of deeper meaning. After all, this is a superhero film. We’ve come a long way since Adam West first donned that pointed headgear.

Batman (Christian Bale) has been notable by his absence since his dealings with Two-Face and The Joker. While Gotham enjoys a new state of peace, unknown enemies from familiar shadowy sources begin to plan the destruction of the city. Forcing Bruce Wayne to return from retirement, the appearance of Bane (Tom Hardy) poses the greatest threat the hero has had to face.

The shadows of Wayne Manor fittingly return us to Nolan’s Gotham, their presence cast throughout the film. Using the greatest strength of the DC hero, The Dark Knight Rises is a superbly grim vision. Bane serves as an interesting foil for Batman, an essentially new character for the films (those who forget Batman & Robin (1997) are doomed to repeat it), he is a greater physical force than Wayne. While Scarecrow stemmed from Batman’s overwhelming fears and Joker was the chaos to his order, Bane is the alternate path that Wayne could have taken and is a manifestation of the uncertainty he faces in his fatal commitment to Gotham’s residents. Nolan rarely puts a foot wrong and once again forms an intelligent blockbuster in the vein of Inception (2010). Unlike Prometheus (2012), The Dark Knight Rises steps up to the hype and exceeds it. Once it dawned on livewithfilm that the trilogy was over, it was forced to use its cape to wipe away the tears.

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