17 Nov 2012

Dark Knight Rises review

[Editors Note: This article was written by Ranti on the 29th of July, when our work-study program was   still in the incubator phase. Being posted now so it counts towards Ranti's work-study submissions. Thx] 

Eight years after a memorable clash with Heath Ledger’s The Joker, Batman (Christian Bale) is back in the cape and eye make-up for Christopher Nolan’s finale to one of the most memorable superhero trilogies in modern day cinema. Tended to patiently by ever loyal Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), Bruce Wayne has sunk into a hermitic lifestyle after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes as Two-face, a noble deed which has numerous criminals behind bars and off the streets of now peaceful Gotham City. However, a new threat, in the form of menacing and formidable villain Bane (Tom Hardy) arises, Wayne must don the mask to protect Gotham once again.

The film begins in a grandiose manner, featuring a plane hijacking, and the kidnap of a nuclear scientist set to composer Hans Zimmer’s percussion-heavy score. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) is dealing with the guilt of silence while Harvey Dent is celebrated as a martyr. Anne Hathaway makes a splendid entrance
as Selina Kyle, a mercurial burglar with the morals of an alley cat and allegiances liable to spin on a dime. She is the act to watch out for in the movie, her caustic wit and feline slink made more eminent in between Christian Bale’s immovable scowl and Tom Hardy’s synthesized spiel. Inception stars Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt appear as Miranda Tate and John Blake. Tate is a graceful and amiable member of the Wayne Enterprises board who takes charge when Bruce’s neglect and the antics of avaricious Daggett, who recruits Bane for a Stock Exchange heist, run the company bankrupt. John Blake is a smart, tenacious, rookie cop.

Despite its length (165 minutes), this movie manages to demand rapt attention from a viewer for its entire duration, helped by strategically placed action scenes, which are properly acted out, and not ostentatious. Drama however makes up for most of the storyline as the movie deals with several themes. Several, however, may translate to one too many, as it deals with pain, angst, deception and even politics. By cutting off access to the outside world, and crumbling the society’s law and order system, Bane transforms Gotham into a dystopian jungle where prisoners roam free and the lower and middle classes turn on the unprotected elite. Despite several debatable plot holes, the three movies in the trilogy are woven together by dexterous screen-writing, the end result being a tapestry that tells of hope in the face of despair and how the firm moral principles of one vigilante can result in momentous change.

The movie, although gripping, overreaches in its gloom, and at some points begins to seem like a rather portentous affair. Although the realism of the trilogy has been its unique touch, it becomes easy to forget that it is still centered on a troubled billionaire who runs around at night fighting villains in tights and a cape. Bane physically domineers with malevolent screen presence in a mask that resembles an arachnid clinging to his face, and makes him sound like Darth Vader on life support, muffling out most of his dialogue. A scene where Batman and Bane have an argument becomes a battle of the synths and the statements between them are reduced to animalistic rumbling. Also Batman has the least presence in his own movie, just like in TheDark Knight, where The Joker, played by Heath Ledger in the performance of alifetime, stole the show completely. In this installment, he pales once again and Catwoman and Bane become the characters easily most noticed.

What is probably the most anticipated movie of the year delivers despite these minor flaws and has increasingly accumulating box office numbers to show for it, scoring 2nd highest midnight grossing of alltime. Nolan’s adroit artistry and attention to detail are showcased brilliantly, and although I personally have distaste for hype, Nolan’s is well deserved, and he is becoming a force to reckon with. The Dark Knight Rises is definitely a must-watch and comparisons are already being drawn to its predecessor, The Dark Knight and the other superhero blockbuster of this year, The Avengers. One thing is certain, The Dark Knight Rises is an amazing movie in its own right, a tone perfect conclusion to a wonderful trilogy, and it will be interesting to see what future directors of the Batman franchise would bring to the table to clear the high bar set by Christopher Nolan.

Movie Rating 8.5/10

The Dark Knight Rises review
by Ranti
2012 9JEducation.org work-study

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