Friday, 20 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (but falls short of its own shadow)

After a long long time, I went to watch a movie on its first day.

It was the biggest movie of the year. The dark knight was coming back to enthrall us. Before I watched it I almost wondered what is it that Nolan thinks he can showcase after such a flawless second part of the trilogy. There was always a chance that the finale won't be as grande as is expected because the expectations are almost sky-high. Sadly, that is what happened.

The dark knight rises has everything. It starts with a bang and then unveils a badass muscular giant like villain in Tom Hardy who can match Batman not only in physical prowess and cunning, but also with voice (;-)). He is in Gotham to spread terror and destruction, to bring down the entire city to ashes - A shade of Ras Al Ghul? Oh yes.... there are more of that than you may have thought and you have to watch it to know more.

This badass villain can beat the crap out of Batman, often utters revolutionary dialogues, and apparently likes chaos just the way Joker did. But does he instill fear in you - you who are sitting outside the screen in the bigmovie hall with a hundred other popcorn chewing, girlfriend clad people with a secure life and a home to get back to?

Here Batman is struck with trauma - from losing his only love. He has almost gone back to the initial days of Batman begins, when he exiled himself to the himalayas in search of self destruction before Al Ghul and the monks make him what was his destiny.
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All that was nice and good. But what follows does not fit in a batman series as grand as Nolan's was so far. Batman suddenly decides to comeback, a cripple becomes straight without much effort or pain. Bane attacks stock exchange.Then he beats the shit out of batman and locks him up in a hole...Then with a sudden twist he gets all the policemen locked in to sewer. then he blows up a football (the american one which they play with hands) ground. While all this happens, the viewer is treated to a plethora of amazing stunts, awesome CGI work and splendour and destruction. Then finally Batman rises from that hole and wins the fight.

Rather than writing a long post, I would straightaway come to the points I did not like.

1. Bane raised interesting possibilities. He gave away the power from corrupt government and gave it away to common men - almsot a liberator. But what follows next is very typical. Criminals robbing and looting people. I was hoping Bane would bring out the darker side of common men. common men doing what they have been forbidden to do by the society and thus introducing chaos. The chaos brought in by Bane was a forced one. One thing the Joker did effortlessly.

2. That mask of Bane actually takes away half the acting that Tom Hardy has done in this movie. A fantastic actor was denied his expressions. While I understand this was to be true to the character of Bane as portrayed in the novels, it was disappointing nevertheless. All those smart dialogues lost its meaning a tad without Bane's expressions. However, full marks to Tommy that he created much of his acting with his voice and dialogue delivery.

3. Marion Cotillard was pretty flat. Not the enigmatic woman we saw in Inception and her other movies.

4. Batman's picturizations failed to ignite that sense of awe which TDK or BB did so easily. Apart from one scene I don't remember the caped crusader watching over the city from a high vantage point which is such a trademark scene for batman. May be batman is getting old and developing a vertigo!! :(

5. Bane's character wasn't fully developped. We never get a glimpse into why he is what he is. Nolan tries to wrap him with a background. But that's more of a decoy than the story itself.

6. Too much of action, and no real cunning of the vilains. There is hardly anything in the script which wold make you believe Bane is a real man.

There are a few other points too which I would have mentioned here. But cutting long story short, there are serious shortcomings in the script, casting and acting of the movie.

Did I not like anything then? Oh for sure I did. I loved the action sequence between Batman and Bane, Bane's dialogues there and other scenes. I loved Anna Hathaway who was a revelation. But who can dislike a sexy, smart and sazzy catgirl, innit?

The free for all on the streets of Gotham also has its feel. Its brutal and engaging. The welsh accent in Tommy's voice is fantastic. Gives his role a touch of tune and works like charm.Zimmer's music is pretty awesome too.

over all verdict is I loved the movie. But it could not fulfil my expectation. Partly because my expectation was so high and partly because I wanted The Dark Knight to remain the most supreme superhero movie of all time. Because that is the only movie where the superhero remains in the dark...and is a true Knight. TDKR failed to reach that bar set by TDK - which I repent and at the same time cherish because I wanted it to be there.