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The Dark Knight Rises? Really?

Film Review by Izmil Amri

Let’s start by saying that the Batman is not actually a super hero. He has in fact no super powers whatsoever. He does not fly, can’t communicate with fish, can’t scale walls, no heat vision, no power ring, can’t go invisible etc.

The Batman is a dull version of Iron Man. Less colour, too much mystery, not at all flashy. His power is derived from the wealth of his dead parents. Without the wealth, well; he has nothing much left. Except maybe a highly motivated mindset. We will talk about that later.

The final installation to Christopher Nolan’s version of the caped crusader trilogy has not helped to polish the dull and helpless image of the powerless hero. Christian Bale, as it seems lack a certain edge to make the character shine. Consequently making the villain the ultimate stars of the show.

Consider its predecessor, ‘The Dark Knight’ which featured the late Heath Ledger as The Joker. We were indeed stunned by the film, the plot and the marvellous portrayal of a psychotic killer with a painted face to the point that the protagonist becomes nothing but a filler; a central theme, to which The Joker becomes the focal point of the story.

Maybe Nolan was indeed not a big fan of Batman, but rather the villains, that he purposely did the same thing again in The Dark Knight Rises. Only this time with an asthmatic character called Bane. Well at least I think he is. What else would the thing attached to his face be used for.

Bane, as the story goes, is highly intelligent. This is evident through his lines spoken in the scenes. His language and ideas are highly complex to the point that I came to the opinion that the title of this film should have instead been ‘The Rise of Bane’; since I have a slight problem of detecting at which point along the plot that The Dark Knight actually rises. Except maybe when Bane lifted him up before slamming him upon his knee, breaking his spine.

“Ah yes…” he says. “I was wondering what would break first,” as he lifts him. “Your spirit, or your body” and slams him on his knee.

Brilliant language could be found whenever Bane opens his mouth to speak. Although we can’t see his lips moving. Take his speech in front of Blackgate Prison for instance. This homage to the ‘Storming of the Bastille’ is a perfect compliment to Bane’s intelligence. And his wit, oh how can we not appreciate his wit. In the scene where he attacks the stock exchange, a stock trader remarked that this was a stock exchange and ‘There’s no money for you to steal’. To which he replies, ‘Then why are you people here?’

Bane is indeed a revolutionary. An anarchist perhaps. A process to de-construct a system built of lies as he sees it to rid the system of evil and corruption. A necessary evil, as Bane calls himself; to scourge the city from the rich oppressors and to give it back to the people.

Revolution and anarchy, as portrayed in the film is indeed a necessary evil to get rid of greater evil. Fighting fire with fire. To understand the entire anarchist theme incorporated into The Dark Knight Rises, we might have to look back at the French Revolution, taking place between 1789 and ending ten years later.

On the morning of 14th July 1789, the icon of French royal authority and tyranny, the prison known as the Bastille was stormed by a mob of no more than one thousand, demanding the surrender of the prison; signalling the start of a rebellion against the oppressing monarchy of France. It took less than 24 hours from the storming of Bastille for the people to install a new system, a structure of municipalities of sorts, and a militia for civic protection.

The French monarch collapsed in about three years and the French society went through an epic transformation due to massive assault from a number of political groups insisting on change; which included the masses from the streets of Paris to peasants from the countryside. Conventional ideas of monarchy and aristocracy were flung out the window, paving way for new principles of equality and human rights.

The French were perhaps the first among humans to have class consciousness. The French Revolution took place mainly due to the economic crises during the reign of Louis XVI. Much of which can also be seen in our day, which has resulted in the Egyptian Revolution and subsequently the Arab Spring and other major upheavals occurring throughout Europe.

The Dark Knight Rises is apt, in conjunction with the global mood for change and revolt against oppression by power-greedy, money-making machinery that has been put in place by corrupted ideas and flawed democratic practices.

And Bane is the best avatar to bring about the revolt against capitalist tyranny. He is the embodiment of anger withheld deep within the hearts of us proletariats, ill-treated by people enriched by power and greed.

The purveyor of Bane’s evil, a character by the name of John Dagget; a thieving capitalist aimed at bankrupting Bruce Wayne and taking over the company, had his neck snapped by Bane after trying to muscle his personal business agenda. We feel Bane’s anger when he retorted to Dagget’s remark of being in charge purely because he was funding the scheme.

“Do you feel in charge?” asks Bane as he puts one hand on Dagget’s shoulder. The rich snob says that he has paid Bane a small fortune, to which Bane says, “And you think this gives you power over me?”

If you are not awed by this awesome character yet, please give yourself a tight slap across the face and wake up from the seemingly beautiful sugar-coated capitalist dream that you’re in.

It would be a glaring mistake to think that The Dark Knight Rises is about Batman. No, it is not. He did not sacrifice himself in order to save the city. No, he did not get blown up in the sunset. He neglected his so called duties for years, to the point that he walks with a cane at the start of the film.

And if you think that Bruce Wayne is so great that in order to heal himself from a broken back, a simple nudge of the spinal disk into the correct slot and a few push ups is sufficient (plus a high dosage of determination); you are better off reading the comic book.

To be honest, I only went to watch this to ogle at Anne Hathaway in a cat suit.

Three stars for The Dark Knight Rises. One star for Bane. Another star for Bane. And one star for the ridiculously gorgeous Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman riding the Batpod. And yes, expect a sequel. – The Rocket

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