Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy reaches its finale with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Eight years after the events of ‘The Dark Knight’, a masked nemesis Bane arrives with a plan to destroy Gotham city. The Dark Knight re-emerges from his exile to protect it from the looming danger.
Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) is in exile, still accused for the crimes committed by District Attorney Harvey Dent, at the Wayne Manor. Having been looked after by his faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), Wayne is confined to the four walls of his room at the sprawling mansion.
The mysterious Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) paves the way for the arrival of Bane (Tom Hardy), a horrific extremist, who sets out to destroy Gotham City. Batman emerges from his exile in order to bring an end to the terror inflicted by Bane.
Along the way, Batman is assisted by Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) of Wayne Enterprises and the young cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in eliminating the antagonists. Marion Cotillard, who plays Miranda Tate, is a member of the executive board of the Wayne Enterprises and goes on to play a pivotal role in the film.
Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman go on to play an extension of their characters from the previous two films, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’. Christian Bale is flawless as Bruce Wayne/Batman. His character goes through a whirlwind of troubles in this film, and Bale depicts the pained superhero to perfection.
Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are terrific, ably supporting the principal characters. However, it is the new entrants Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway, who deliver superlative performances. Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman is electrifying in the film, almost running away with the show in the first half. Such audacity, exuberance and intensity, has seldom been inculcated in a female character in the franchise. Hathaway, who keeps getting better with every performance, now appears almost indispensable to the film. Tom Hardy, who plays the masked antagonist Bane, is absolutely brilliant. His terrorizing demeanour gives Batman a nemesis to reckon with.
The film should not be compared to its predecessor ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008), as this one is a starkly different set-up. Treat it on its own merit and you will immensely enjoy it. The writers Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer, have reinstated the uniqueness of a Nolan film. The film, albeit dark in parts, is a visual treat. The cinematography (Wally Pfister) is astounding. The aerial shots are one of the best seen in recent times. The difference between the Batman films of yore and Nolan’s trilogy has been the visual appeal and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ truly lives up to its billing. The computer-generated imagery (CGI), already on display in the theatrical trailers, is spectacular.
There is not a single lull moment in the 2 hour 44 minute screenplay. The immaculate editing by Lee Smith ought to be applauded as it is incredibly difficult to make such a long film engaging enough, notwithstanding the credibility of the makers.
The score by the maestro Hans Zimmer lends an almost ethereal touch to the magnificent visuals. We often talk about Nolan’s brilliance in the script and the execution in his iconic films, but Hans Zimmer has played a monumental role in making them memorable. His contribution should not be ignored. The chant that plays during Bane’s exploits is so haunting and mesmerizing at the same time. Like always, Zimmer gives us the best of both worlds.
That Christopher Nolan is a director par excellence is not a startling revelation. With films such as ‘Memento’, ‘The Prestige’, ‘Inception’ and The Batman trilogy, to his credit, the man has set a bar so high that it would be difficult for any other filmmaker to be able to give us a superhero flick that is as impactful. Nolan does not disappoint this time around as well. Often, any film succeeding a superlative film fails to live up to the expectations. However, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ has generated so much anticipation in the last one year that it would be difficult even for the hardest critics to point out a blemish. The film will astonish you the moment, you think it is veering towards predictability. Hats off to filmmakers for not sticking to the norms and adapting comic books with such unmistakable clarity and conviction! It’s been a wonderful year for comic book superheroes with ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ hitting jackpot at the box-office. Needless to say, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will meet a similar fate.
The film totally lives up to the expectations. It strikes the perfect balance between the technology and the human touch. Must, must watch!