Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why Batman has to die in 'Rises'

There is a lot of anticipation for Christopher Nolan's last chapter in his 'Dark Knight' trilogy, and along with that anticipation comes a decent amount speculation as to the fate of the world's greatest detective.


 And here is why:

Reason #1

Take a good look at the poster. It reads: "The Legend Ends." That's right, ENDS; as in, it's over, concluded, there is no coming back from this.

Now, I don't want you to think that I am basing all of this off of the unusually detailed, slightly depressing poster alone(do I smell foreshadowing, anyone?). No. I am basing this off of Nolan's history with the franchise. He is clearly doing his own thing with the source material and has no intentions of dragging it out any further. Ergo: it truly must be an ENDing and there is no greater ending than... well, death.

Reason #2

Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker who is obviously obsessed with giving his audience something that they have never seen before; he wants to give us something memorable. However, people have seen Batman on the big screen before, so Nolan has the seemingly impossible task of making his own take on the iconic hero stand out amongst all others (here's hoping that nippley armor is not involved). So how do you make your Batman movie stand out?

For one: in any iconic, linear, motion-picture trilogy things always get darkest just as the second movie ends and the last movie begins. From there, you as a filmmaker can take your story one of two ways: things get better or things get even darker. Now it may be a sad truth, but people always tend to remember the darker things better.

Example: When you and your friend are riding your bikes down the street and you pass the tree where the firefighter safely retrieved Ms. Jenkins' cat only to have it jump out of her arms minutes later and run into the street where it gets struck by a car, the conversation never goes:

     "Hey! Remember that time the firefighter saved Mrs. Jenkins' cat?"
     "Yeah! That was awesome!"

It always goes:

     "Hey! Remember that time when old lady Jenkins' cat got run over by that car?"
     "Yeah! That was... pretty terrible..."

And every time the courageous act of retrieving the cat will only be brought up as a side note after the cat's death has already been mentioned.  

Or two: You go all the way and kill off the bat. It's never been done before (on screen at least) and it's definitely going to stick with people (for better or for worse).

Reason #3

What I like most about Nolan's Batman movies is that he is obviously focusing more on what it truly means to be a hero and the harsh (as well as the rewarding) consequences that come along with making such a sacrifice. The ending of 'Dark Knight' is a perfect example of this. Batman takes the blame for Harvey Dent's death (as well as the deaths of the cops that Dent killed) in order to maintain Gotham's faith in "real heroes." So how do you top declaring yourself a homicidal, masked vigilante with a taste for popular political figures and policemen in order to protect society from itself?

Well, in one of the newer trailers for 'Rises', Catwoman tells Batman that he has given everything for the people of Gotham. Batman simply replies: "Not everything. Not yet" (do I smell foreshadowing, anyone?). What more could this committed hero possibly have left to offer?

Given the fact that this is Nolan's last installment and that the sequel laws of film demand that Nolan top the ending of "The Dark Knight", as well as all the allusions to a dark yet satisfying curtain call, it can safely be concluded that the only thing the caped crusader has left to offer the Gothamites is his life and in today's society, there is no greater sacrifice than the giving of one's life in order to protect.

Batman is all about making those sacrifices and doing whatever necessary in order to maintain peoples' faith in themselves as well as in humanity and sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.

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