Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bats and Stars

       It has been quite sometime since I 've seen a movie that inspired me enough to write about it. The Dark Knight Rises is one such wonderful movie. It combines great story telling on a huge scale with exceptional acting by some of the finest actors of this generation and a haunting musical score. Usually when something is eagerly expected, it seldom lives up to its expectations. I waited for the release of this movie with fevered anticipation and was not at all disappointed.

      Comic book movies are usually imbued with a sense of juvenility, a silliness that asks us not to take them seriously and usually, that makes the movie going experience incredibly fun. The Nolan trilogy, however is dark, grave and almost melancholy. It is serious and appeals more to the intellectual side of the viewer. That is what sets this film and its prequels apart from the myriad comic book inspired movies out there.

      Every moment of this film is engrossing and you can t help but get invested emotionally in the story. ( When Michael Caine cries at the grave " I 've failed you , Master Bruce" - did you not get misty eyed ?? ) Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman is sensational. His acting is restrained and nuanced. Think about it - do you think you could ever feel sorry for a billionaire who has cool gadgets, an awesome crib and coolest cars in the world? - But you genuinely do. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman play their parts like the seasoned veterans they are. Tom Hardy had pretty big shoes to fill as he had to follow Heath Ledger's Joker as the villain in this movie. He does a respectable job as the malevolent Bane but I missed that indescribable something extra that Heath Ledger brought to the Dark Knight. His villainy seemed all the more evil because it had no purpose, no goal, no end game.

          Nolan's films work on many different levels. They have all the earmarks of a traditional superhero movie - a city under attack, really cool fights, car ( if i can use the word car ) chases, ridiculously awesome modes of conveyance ( Seriously, how cool were the Bat and the Bat bike ) and good looking women. They also can be viewed as an allegory of the times we live in. The mob taking over the city is eerily reminiscent of the anarchy during the riots in the UK. His films also bring to the fore the inner demons most of us harbour and make them all seem oddly personal. 

         I see and hear about fans of the Star Wars Franchise who collect memorabilia, attend conventions dressed up as characters in the movie and get married at Star Wars themed weddings. I never understood what made them so attached to the movies. [ Honestly -  the movies were probably great when they were first released decades ago but now they seem ( dare I say it )  ...ahem   .... lame.  Star Wars worshipers please don t kill me. ]. I understand now. This trilogy made me realise that we can genuinely like something so much that we would seem overzealous to others.

        I can say with little doubt that this trilogy will become something akin to the Star Wars of this generation, though I seriously doubt if the fans of Batman will ever be as crazy as the Star Wars fans. I certainly hope that no blogger, in the future, has the temerity to call these films lame. Only Time will tell.

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