Wednesday, August 1, 2012

THE BATMAN TRILOGY : AN ODE TO THE GREATEST SUPERHERO SERIES EVER MADE





I know I know. You people have been subjected to uncountable batman reviews. This is probably the zillionth fan based review which must have been written on the dark knight rises.
So let me not bore you and tell you that this is not a review. I won’t describe the synopsis nor the performances nor the direction the way a movie critic does, because MUCH has been written on all that.

I was sort of a late batman fan. I watched the Dark knight 2 years after it released. I watched batman begins a week before. But I did watch the final part of the trilogy in the theatre on the first day in the first show.

I won’t be exaggerating when I say that I dreamt about the movie for 3 consecutive days after I watched it in the theatre. That itself says how much I loved it. Infact the only other movie which invaded my sleep and totally wrecked it was “INCEPTION” (Again Christopher Nolan).

Okay, so while people have loved the last film, there have been a lot of negative responses too. People have had the audacity to compare it with the previous part. Some have tried finding logic in few sequences of the movie. Some found the villain un-intimidating. Some found the plot dull.

Comparing the dark knight rises with the dark knight –

Little did Chris Nolan know that the dark knight would be met with such a mammoth response? The dark knight can be easily called one of the BEST movies ever made. It redefined the character of batman whose comics we have been reading since childhood, whose serials we watched on star plus (remember? There would be words like POW, BAM, BLAM etc written across the screen?).
But in 2005, Nolan depicted a real dark picture compared to the previous films made on batman which were more comic than epic.

The first movie Batman Begins was about how a gotham citizen became a hooded public hero. Tracing his journey from the mountains till the emergence of batman – was shown brilliantly. The villain here was Ra’s Al Ghul, who was not that menacing, but his plan of destroying gotham was menacing enough. Plus we came to know about the real identity of the villain towards the end of the movie

The dark knight brought in the “JOKER”. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that heath ledger’s ultimate characterization of Joker was the prime reason for the success of dark knight. His mannerisms, his dialogues (Which are literally quoted a million times on twitter and facebook even today) and his maniac behavior gave us the one of the finest villains ever onscreen. We just couldn’t get enough of him. In fact there were also rumors afloat in between that Nolan is using all of ledger’s unused footage in the 3rd movie.



The dark knight rises was never meant to be a movie which would outdo its previous part. I don’t understand why people compare them. I read a lot of people saying that “This movie is not as good as the previous one.” GODDAMN IT NEVER WILL BE. BECAUSE THERE CAN NEVER BE ANOTHER JOKER, irrespective of whether you rope in tom hardy or Leonardo di’caprio.

Remember one thing – this was a trilogy. It means you DO NOT have the right to evaluate each film individually. That is being very unfair. Ultimately what matters is the entire package. Ultimately what matters is how Nolan chose to end his trilogy. Did he create a huge hype after the dark knight and fizzle out in the finale? Or did the outcome make you feel content? Would you remember this as the most perfect superhero series or not?
And it is a unanimous opinion that the Dark knight rises was a perfect ending to the greatest trilogies ever made. People have agreed that it lived up to the mammoth expectations of everyone, if not surpassing the dark knight. That’s it. Nolan delivered what he wanted. He made sure that we remember the entire series, and not just the first movie or the second movie. Case closed.


FINDING LOGIC IN VARIOUS SEQUENCES

This is a common problem with near-perfect films directed by perfect genius directors. When critics don’t get anything to rant, they start finding out flaws which defy logic. Well, then why did you start watching this trilogy in the first place? Every thing shown from the first movie defies logic. Infact, then why the hell did you read batman comics in childhood? What did you think they were true? Tell me where do you find hooded heroes, flying cars, and a batmobile?
Batman was always a fictional character. Nolan has every right to use that license. DC comics themselves are the producers of this series. When they don’t have a problem, why do you?
So what if we don’t know how did Bruce Wayne return from a desert prison to a snowy Gotham? Well, he just apparated, happy?

Or the ending when batman activated the autopilot mode and (presumably) jumped off? Yes they didn’t show him jumping. Why should Nolan show that? He wanted to make sure we all are stunned when the nuclear bomb goes off. He wanted us to believe for few minutes that the superhero is no more.
He wanted that in the last scene when Bruce and Selina are shown in the cafe, every batman fan heaves a sigh of relief and cheers. Admit it. Even you cheered at that moment (after you had shed a tear or two on batman’s nuclear death).



THE VILLAIN

Ok the first one had the scarecrow who was hell scary. It also had Ra’s al Ghul who was never a villain for us, as he was shown a good guy in the beginning.



The second movie was all about the villain, the villain and the villain. Who can forget the scene where he clumsily walks out of the hospital in the nurse outfit as the entire hospital behind him blew up?  Or the climax scene where the joker hung in air and still continued to behave as he always did? The way he introduced a little bit of anarchy was terrifyingly awesome.



The dark knight rises was never about a particular villain. It was about revenge – Revenge in the form of Bane and Ra’s al ghul’s daughter. It was always about finishing what was left undone by Ra’s al ghul in the first movie. I agree bane was not half as intimidating as ledger, but as I said earlier, no can beat ledger. This villain was not about how menacing or frightening he is. It was about the magnitude of damage and havoc he could wreak.



THE DULL PLOT

Why can’t a nuke bomb be a part of the plot? Why does it seem so unrealistic? If the first movie could have had a vaporizer which would convert the entire water supply into poisoned gas, this one too can have a nuke. If the first movie targeted water, this one targeted the earth and beneath. The plot was as simple as it could have been.

FINALLY, THE CHARACTERS

If there’s one thing we all will remember even years after, it is the characters of this trilogy. And by characters I mean the on screen ones. Not Christian bale, but bruce wayne. Not Michael caine, but Alfred. Not morgan freeman but lucius fox.

THE SCARECROW
He gave us shivers with his doctor – cum – madman act in batman begins. He appeared again in the dark knight in a short role. In the dark knight rises, he gathered cheers and whistles as fans were delighted to see him back. In the role of a judge, he’ll be remembered for one line – “DEATH…. BY EXILE



ALFRED

As Bruce Wayne’s caretaker, he was absolutely awesome. His haggard face full of worries, the way he always stood by Bruce, and his final emotional outburst – was the show stealer. He genuinely tugged all our hearts with his performance. And who can forget –

“YOU STILL HAVENT GIVEN UP ON ME?
NEVER.



COMMISSIONER GORDON

Do I need to say anything? He was the main person associated with batman. Playing the role of a person torn between his loyalties, his face spoke volumes. My personal favorite character after bruce wayne.
“I FORGOT TO THANK YOU…”


LUCIUS FOX

He was the only character apart from batman whose entry was received by whistles and cheers during the dark knight rises. That shows how popular he was. The amitabh bachchan of Hollywood was superb in all 3 parts, but I’ll never forget that dialogue of his – “DIDN’T YOU GET THE MEMO?”



And finally …

BRUCE WAYNE

The third part was only and only about him. By him, I mean Bruce Wayne, and NOT the batman. The best thing I liked about the third part was the fact that Bruce Wayne is portrayed a wounded man. He might be a superhero when he wore that mask, but in reality, he was a billionaire turned bankrupt person who was going through the agony and trauma of having lost his beloved; the trauma of having failed. Even in the prison pit, we watch in pity as he attempts to climb out, only to be hurled back down.





He is shown as vulnerable, mortal and humane as we are. And the fact that he comes out of the pit solely with his own strength and not as batman, gives us the message that ultimately this movie was always about Bruce Wayne, and not batman. Ultimately this was the sheer brilliance of the last movie – FIGHT BACK.WHY DO WE FALL? SO THAT WE CAN LEARN TO PICK OURSELVES UP.


So as I said earlier, people found the third movie not as good as the second. Then let me ask you – what do you think of the entire trilogy as a whole? Did it disappoint you? Did it NOT live up to your expectations? I can bet almost everyone (even those who criticized TDKR) will agree that the trilogy couldn’t have ended in a better way.

As far as Bruce Wayne’s death is concerned, that’s up to you how you interpret it. The top is still spinning. what about robin???


Lastly the character which breathed soul into this movie - BATMAN. it would be unjust to put in words anything regarding him
Because it is not what you are above that matters. it is what you are beneath.



Christopher Nolan has undoubtedly given us the finest superhero series EVER… period.

 - Written by a fan who is STILL in awe of the dark knight rises.

P.S – By the way Mr. Nolan, I KNOW I’LL NEVER HAVE TO, BUT STILL…

I NEVER SAID THANK YOU…


8 comments:

  1. After reading the post I could feel that you are a true Batman fan.I could literally feel your agression for people who are criticising The Dark Knight Rises.That's the thing with films.For every person who loves Inception there will be 5 who hate it.Only few films like Titanic are universally loved and those are the ones which leave their mark in History.Superheroes like Batman ,Spiderman , Superman will never lose their charm and so the Batman Trilogy will always be loved and remembered.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing! Loved it man. I love the trilogy (and all of Nolan's movies) more than life itself. There can be no second opinion, this trilogy will be remembered. Forever. Thank you Mr. Nolan. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, it was such a joy to read your post...it's almost as if you took the thoughts out of my head! TDKR has to be one of the most emotionally satisfying, cathartic , and apt ending to any series and that IS what it was meant to do. He made the movie about Bruce Wayne as much as he made it about Batman, effectively ending Bruce Wayne's stint as the batman but leaving the legacy of the batman forever to cherish! Nolan's Batman was not a rich billionare with toys (Joel Schumacher anyone? :p) but an emotionally wounded man with the strength to fight back through the shadows.....One thing that you didn't mention and which I felt played a great part in making TDKR ( or even BB and TDK ) so epic was HAns Zimmer's haunting booming score....when the two part horn played at the ending with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES coming up on the screen- goosebumps all over!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is truly the greatest superhero trilogy ever. I would even rate it as the 2nd greatest trilogy ever after lord of the rings, of course.
    On a side note, you write extremely well, doctor. This is an excellent piece of writing. You can count me as another follower to your blog and twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. To riya, you will be surprised at the number of people who hate Titanic, saying that's it's a romanticized version of a very tragic event..
    It is definitely not truly loved...no movie is imo.
    Sorry, for some reason i am unable to repy directly to your post...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well written!
    To add, how can we forget the haunting, hounding, thundering, unnerving, captivating BACKGROUND SCORE by MASTER HANS ZIMMER?

    For me, the BS palyed an equally important role in the entire series. Some of the tracks in the OST give goosebumps eerytime you hear them

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice Blog :)
    Please Visit Now :
    www.B4ufreemovies.tk

    ReplyDelete