Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: A Review...and Some History

(picture was grabbed from The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack Digital Booklet that I purchased)

     First of all, I will try not to reveal any "spoilers" as best I can.  I have seen the movie four times so far and I doubt I will stop there.  I enjoyed Batman Begins.  I didn't know what to expect before I saw The Dark Knight.  Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker was very creepy to me.  I found myself comparing his version of the villain to Jack Nicholson's in the 1989 version of Batman.  I think the reason why Heath's Joker was creepy to me was because it portrayed the dark, evil, and amoral side of human nature.  Michael Caine's character of Alfred said it best in the movie that "some men just want to watch the world burn."

     This is true of the character Bane.  The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is just as real as the Joker was in The Dark Knight as far as being a manifestation of evil.  What many people want to believe is that evil is not real.  If evil is not real, then certain people that have lived (i.e. - Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot) and those living (i.e. - Charles Manson, Ted Kaczynski, Terry Nichols) are not evil.  What people need to realize is that because of the total depravity of mankind, the fictional actions of a Joker or a Bane could actually occur in reality.

     Bane's ultimate quest is to fulfill Ra's Al Ghul's plan of destroying Gotham.  With movies that have an element of reality, my brain automatically reflects upon history and if there are any lessons that can be drawn from these types of movies.  Other than being a manifestation of evil, Bane also strives to provide the citizens of Gotham with a false "hope to poison their souls."  Part of this false hope is leveling the economic playing field as it were.  Gothamites in positions of authority, which usually means that they are also financially well off, are seen as corrupt and must be held accountable for their corruption.  The result of which is exile or death, both of which end up meaning death.  Gotham turns into a "mobocracy" with Bane at the helm.

     There are several historical figures from the 20th century that come to mind when I think about the character of Bane.  Based on how these figures rose to power and influenced the people that they ruled over, I would say that Bane is a combination of Hitler and Pol Pot.  What I mean by this is if you take Hitler's charisma with the people and mix it with Pol Pot's purging of "the educated, the wealthy, police, doctors, lawyers, and government officials", you have Bane.

     I will not delve into how the film ends, but what I can say is that good triumphs over evil, just as it always does.  Also, the musical score that Hans Zimmer put together really engages the emotions of the viewer.

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