In memory of the people that lost their lives in Aurora, it’s a great sorrow that life can end so quickly
Cert: 12A Runtime: 164 mins Director: Christopher Nolan Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and Liam Neeson
When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die
So for the last four years I have been following the developments of The Dark Knight Rises. It has been an amazing ride trying to figure out who was who? what was going to happen? Now comes the end of the journey. In this review there are no spoilers or leaks (it’s not my style).So what is the basic plot? Eight years have passed since the tumultuous events of ‘The Dark Knight’. Having taken the rap for inspirational DA Harvey Dent’s crimes, Batman (Christian Bale) is in exile. His alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, has yet to recover. At least Gotham City is finally at peace. But not for long. As the mysterious Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) tells Wayne, there’s a storm brewing. And that storm brings the full destructive force of the masked, terrifyingly evil Bane (Tom Hardy). When Bane declares all-out war on Gotham, Batman has no choice but to return to the fray for the ultimate showdown. I didn’t have much expectations for Batman Begins. However viewing the 2005 Christopher Nolan production, I was pleasantly shocked. Then after my huge expectations for, “The Dark Knight”, Christopher Nolan blew my expectations to the dust. Will the same happen with the 3rd and last film, “The Dark Knight Rises”? Quite simply, Yes! My big expectations were once again, blown away. What a production! This is a true cinematic experience, to behold. The movie exceeded my expectations in terms of action, and entertainment. The editing, sound, score, visuals, direction and action are all top notch.
If there was anyone who could top ‘The Dark Knight’, it would have to be Christopher Nolan himself. It’s no small feat even for the masterful director – not least for the fact that it would have been difficult to construct a villain as perfect as the late Heath Ledger’s Joker – but fans who ever doubted if Nolan would be able to pull it off can now rest easy. Not only is the answer to that question an affirmative yes, Nolan closes quite possibly the very best comic-book adaptation ever with a heart-stopping bang, once and for all putting his stamp on the Batman legend with a viscerally thrilling and emotionally gripping conclusion. Familiarity with the Gotham universe and the Bruce Wayne/ Batman character that Nolan had built over the course of ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ is a must if one were to truly appreciate and admire the subtleties, nuances and brilliance of this trilogy capper. The technical aspects of the film are flawless, like the previous two films. The cinematography is incredible. If you can, see this film in IMAX. There is about an hour of the film in the format and it looks stunning. The action is spectacular and never overdone. The visual effects are truly incredible. I am so glad that Christopher Nolan prefers practical effects over CGI. The opening sequence is perhaps one of the most exciting stunts ever put on film. And the fact that they really did it, is amazing. Hans Zimmer’s score is beautiful and really adds that extra level of excitement to the film. Even though James Newton Howard doesn’t contribute to the score for this film, Zimmer has proved to be a really talented composer.
So the acting was phenomenal.Even before watching the movie, I was sure that Tom Hardy would justify his presence; he gave me so much confidence in him from “Warrior”. I can see/hear lot of people comparing Bane with Joker. While I agree that Bane doesn’t gives you chills and frills as the Joker did, but I think the comparison is wrong since both these characters are set poles apart. While Joker was an agent of chaos and randomness, Bane is all about destruction and discipline. Actually he pulls off from where Joker left. For a city already once marred by a psychopath and no Batman for quite a few years, Bane comes as a Tsunami. He quickly takes on your nerve and his brutality is so cold that you begin to hate him so much so that in the climax, you can see and hear the theater thundering in applause.I have to admit that I have not been a much fan of Anne Hathaway (although I have watched all her movies that too because she is so hot). The reason is her inconsistency, whether be the choices she made in doing the movies or her acting. Focusing on the character she plays in TDKR, it is a very layered one and she pulls it off just right. No more, no less, just perfect. I won’t comment on how beautiful she looks in every single frame because that would take me in to the pervert category but I would say right from the action sequences to where she has to play by her eyes, she takes you in her grip so firmly, you won’t let your eyes off her.
Christian Bale has always scored a home run right from the “American Psycho”, his first movie that I ever watched. He took me again by surprise in “The Machinist” losing 40 kg’s for a role and then came the Batman trilogy. Talking about TDKR, you can see that a superhero is still human. All these years of fighting war has taken a toll on him, the pain and frustration of failed love and wrong indict that Bale carries on his face is marvelous, but the moment he wears his cape, he is again the Batman, fighting evil the best he can and yes, You believe him. Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman give yet another solid performance in The Dark Knight Rises, but Michael Caine almost left me in tears his appearance in the film is limited but boy when he is on screen he is fantastic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt for me steals the whole film, not going into great details he is another new entry into the franchise in the role of a pro Batman cop John Blake. He is a very strong character with a hunger for justice and the truth, he has had a very difficult life but he sees that the path of the law will give him clarity.Despite being widely lauded for his strengths as a writer-director, Christopher Nolan’s Achilles heel is widely regarded to be writing women. He breaks that spell with Catwoman (have to add more about her), her characterisation damn near perfect and portrayed with very surprising skill by Anne Hathaway who transforms from kooky sweetheart to confident, self-assured, oh-so-seductive and quick with a scathing remark. Marion Cotillard fulfils the more traditional damsel-in-a-degree-of-distress role, her Miranda Tate kind and disarming, and it is easy to see why Bruce Wayne would fall headlong for her.
Beyond the story and performances, The Dark Knight Rises looks, sounds and feels like the event it is touted to be. Cinematographer Wally Pfister throws in some very inventive shots, including a brief moment where a charging Batman is lit by muzzle flashes, and delivers dizzyingly gorgeous panoramas as well. Chris Corbould and his practical effects crew help stage several awe-inspiring action set-pieces, and the tone is set well with an opening scene involving a staged plane crash orchestrated by Bane. There is a level of admiration to be had when a film fits a massive brawl shot on Wall Street, the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, India and a terrorist attack on a football stadium (Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field) into one movie. Christopher Nolan and co. have brought the curtain down on their trilogy in truly bittersweet fashion. These three films were emblematic of The Dark Knight rising, rising from an outrageously campy, seemingly franchise-killing film. This is the final cape flourish, the big send-off, the tearful goodbye. As Dickens wrote in the book that partially inspired this movie, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – this is the Caped Crusader’s finest hour, and seeing this incarnation hang up the cape and cowl is quite saddening indeed.