REVIEW: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Be it Mumbai- India, U.S.A or the rest of the world; The Dark Knight Rises has beaten records all across the world, beating Avatar and the Avengers.
July 30, 1970- the day a legendary director was born. With movies like “Inception”, “Prestige”, “Insomnia”, and “Memento”; comes yet another masterpiece- “The Dark Knight Rises,” directed by Christopher Nolan; and is THE epic conclusion to his Batman trilogy! It has very well been able to live up to all the hype and expectations created before its release. The level to which the film has been able to grasp the attention and imagination of the public is incredible. The most awesome part of this entire trilogy is that the portrayal of batman is believable and relatable, as Bruce Wayne/Batman himself says, – “Batman is just a symbol, it can be anyone”; a true hero for our times and representative of the world we recognize around us.
I have watched every superhero movie ever, but TDK is a league above, it is a movie that focuses on superhero as a person, not as a superhero with superhuman powers. It talks about how a superhero is just like us, scared and desperate for someone to love.
The movie shows the ever-lasting loyalty and love between Alfred Pennyworth and a crippled, withdrawn Bruce Wayne, who has been living like a recluse in Wayne Manor since he gave up the Bat cape eight years earlier; when he took the fall for Harvey Dent’s murder.
“You’re not living,” Pennyworth says, emotionally. “You’re just waiting for something bad to happen.”
And something bad happens, indeed. Bane (Tom Hardy) who is said to be born and raised in hell and excommunicated from the League of Shadows has come to disrupt the peaceful Gotham city to lead his own devious, evil revolution against the city’s wealthy and powerful along with his army of thugs and mercenaries. Just when you miss the presence of the Joker, comes the Bane character, who is unique in itself as he is what our worst fears about terrorism embodied in a single man, comes alive.
“The Dark Knight Rises” finds Batman racing against time to stop the Darth Vader-like (except the heavy breathing part) super-terrorist Bane, his face mostly obscured by a metallic vent; from detonating a nuclear bomb set to destroy Gotham City. Indulging in any more details of the movie might be a spoiler as it is packed with mysterious twists and turns, which makes one go like–“OMG!!”
While there is no performance quite as legendary and enticing as the late Heath Ledger’s as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” the cast’s work is sterling, from the big roles to the smallest.
Christian Bale as usual, as the Batman is even better here, adding nuance and shading that was absent before. “Dark Knight” veterans Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) and Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth) are impressive in their performances.
Anne Hathway as Selina Kyle, the ‘Cat Woman’ offers the biggest surprise of a performance as she fully inhabits the character of a master thief who is on the on-look for a device which can erase every record of her crime life from every database in the world. She virtually steals your breath away with her sarcastic wit, sultry allure and seductive looks; delivering both in dialogue delivery and action. In comparison, Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate (“Inception,” “Midnight in Paris”) provides just the right measure of allure, smarts and mystery as the wealthy philanthropist Miranda Tate. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a wonderful performance as young police officer John Blake, who plays a significant role in the film.
Have no doubts about it; “The Dark Knight Rises” is a spectacular show. The visuals are extraordinary. The action sequences are dazzling, especially so since Nolan relies on his old-fashioned stunt work. It will be hard to shake some of the images, whether it’s the stunning midair plane hijacking that opens the film, the way Batman’s bike turns; Batman flying through Gotham in his cool toys or Bane blowing up a stadium during an NFL game.
Nolan’s “Dark Knight Rises” from being a superb bit of work to a truly visionary filmmaker is a marvelous final installment of the Batman saga. Nolan’s storytelling is undeniably serious but never quite boring or sober. It is though, a pity that this was his last direction as he is just 42.
As a cop tells a younger partner when Batman first reappears after the stock exchange attack; “Boy, you’re in for a show tonight, son.” And, it indeed is quite a show.
One advice to the world: DO NOT MISS THIS EPIC CONCLUSION OF A MOVIE OF THE FRANCHISE. But do watch it at your own risk, as after this movie, no other superhero movie might be good enough to match up to the bar set up by this piece of legend.