“We all wake up in the morning wanting to live our lives the way we know we should. But we usually don’t, in small ways. That’s what makes a character like Batman so fascinating. He plays out our conflicts on a much larger scale.” – Chris Nolan.
2 months, 60 days to be precise, to go for this movie. In Christopher Nolan’s own words, ‘The epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend’. Some of you may feel this movie is a sequel to ‘The Dark Knight’. But actually, it’s the last part in the incredible trilogy ‘Batman Begins’, ‘The Dark Knight’ and last, but definitely not the least, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. So, do catch up on BOTH of the first two films in order before watching this one.
Now, there have been many speculations about this movie. In this post, I am only going to add to those speculations, with some of my own, backed by facts, theories and comic book story lines. Many people still are skeptical about this movie, saying that Batman cannot have a better adversary than The Joker. ‘The Dark Knight’ obviously achieved the kind of success it did mostly because of Heath Ledger’s outstanding portrayal of the highly intelligent psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor who loves to spread anarchy and chaos. He has been repeatedly analyzed by critics as the perfect adversary for Batman. Their long, dynamic relationship often parallels the concept of yin and yang.
So, with the overwhelming reception that this movie (TDK) got, almost hitting the Jackpot, and claiming #2 position on IMDb’s Top 250 movies of all time, and staying there for a long time (currently it is at the #8 position), the question on most of the Batman fans’ minds was: ‘What next?’ Christopher Nolan, as has become his trend, did a non – Batman movie, ‘Inception’ and it was incredibly brilliant as a movie and a breakthrough in contemporary cinema. Now with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ hitting the screens on 20th July 2012, let’s talk about a few things in the movie. First of all, the choice of the villain.
Why Bane? Why is this wrestler guy you’ve never heard of the new Batman villain?
Bane was first introduced in “Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1”, which is now hard to find [but torrents will always help ;)]. In a nutshell, Bane is born in prison on the hellish Caribbean island of Santa Prisca, and sentenced to life imprisonment for the crimes of his father. Bane manages to become king of the prison, partly thanks to a knife concealed in his teddy bear. His general badassery is what leads to him being “volunteered” as the test subject for an experimental steroid called Venom.
And while Bane is still in prison, he hears legends of Gotham City and its King, Batman, who’s the one guy who could beat Bane. So Bane vows to go to Gotham and prove he can beat even Batman, and rule over the city of fear. Peak human physical condition, when using Venom, Superhuman strength, High intelligence, Escapologist, Hand to hand combat, Expert strategist; these are just a few of his abilities.
Bane was pretty much created so he could be the villain of the gigantic Batman storyline, “Knightfall”. In “Knightfall”, Bane travels to Gotham City after escaping from the prison where he’s lived his whole life. He’s accompanied by three prison buddies: Zombie, Trogg and Bird, who are basically henchmen with ridiculous names [google search helped me find out this: all of whom are named after 1960s rock bands: The Troggs, The Zombies, and The Byrds].
Bane wants to take over Gotham City, but first he wants to get the Batman out of the way. So instead of charging in and getting his ass kicked by Batman, he releases Batman’s entire rogues gallery from Arkham Asylum and makes Batman fight them all one after another, while Bane studies his prey.
And Bane does something almost no other Batman villain has done: he figures out Bruce Wayne is Batman, just by paying attention.
Finally, when Bruce Wayne is totally exhausted, Bane comes to him in Wayne Manor and confronts him — Bruce is wearing his Batman costume under a bathrobe, and looks kind of sad. Bruce finally realizes what this has all been about, but it’s too late. So Batman rallies himself to face the greatest evil he’s ever confronted.
In Dennis O’Neil’s novelization, Bruce has this conversation with Bane:
After a full minute he said, “You may be the most insane creature I’ve ever faced. Don’t you know what you are? Don’t you see the ugliness, the inhumanity?”
“Words,” said Bane.
Bruce reached over his shoulder and pulled his mask into place.
And then Bane kicks Batman’s ass, finally shattering his spine. Afterwards, Bane is torn between killing Batman and letting him live, but he decides to let Batman live so he can humiliate him further.
Ra’s Al Ghul (who’s the villain of the first Nolan movie, Batman Begins) is so impressed with Bane, he decides to make Bane his heir, a position he once offered to Batman himself. Liam Neeson (who played Ra’s al Ghul), has been confirmed in the movie.
Bane helps Ra’s to unleash a deadly plague on Gotham City in the massive “Legacy” storyline.
The plague is also set in three other cities : Paris, Edinburgh and Calcutta (that’s where the Indian connect comes in, I feel. TDKR also has scenes from Jaipur, India). The story concludes with the long-awaited rematch between Batman and Bane, in which the original Batman finally kicks Bane’s ass this time around. (Of course.)
Now why the original ‘Batman’, do you ask? In the comics, Jean Paul-Valley, (who later becomes Azrael) takes over the mantle of the Bat for a while. Now, I believe, that John Blake, the police officer that Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays, might be the new ‘Batman’ while Bruce Wayne is recuperating. Nolan might have just changed the name to make the connection hard to find.
While Chris Nolan is saying TDKR is set 8 years after The Dark Knight does that mean Batman may be old enough for a side kick. More recent viral notions about the film have included a pair of “Robin Easter Eggs” as seen in the new trailer. Let’s check them out…
Twelve seconds into the trailer we see a crowd holding up the Rogues sign, as in Gotham Rogues. The letter R does look a little familiar…
But, I guess, having a broken back and being out of action, passing the mantle on to a new person, is reason enough to have a Robin in the movie.
There’ve been 3 Robins though, and Tim Drake featured in the “Knightfall” saga in a pivotal role. Dick Grayson and Jason Todd won’t be featured, as they have a long history, and it will only increase the film’s runtime.
Christopher Nolan is doing ‘The Man of Steel’ (Superman) series after he’s done with the Batman trilogy. And rumours are there’ll be Superman in TDKR. Let’s check for hidden references to The Man of Steel in the Dark Knight Rises posters. [ Please consult the original pictures here and here for HD viewing. ]
And I haven’t even talked about the CATWOMAN and TALIA [Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter] yet. But I won’t spoil it all for you [if there’s even the slightest possibility that my speculations are spot on!]
Remember you read it all here, 2 months before, in that case. 🙂
Now, there’s nothing more left for us, except to wait, and on 20th July, 2012, finally watch.
One of my worries is that while ‘The Dark Knight’ was really legendary, what hit the audience was its runtime. You really felt the length of the movie.
What took me so much time to research and put up, what took you SO LONG to read, I wonder how Chris would engineer a concise, perfect film. But, “In Nolan I believe”.
20th July, 2012. I’m going to make sure I am in an IMAX during that weekend.
60 days. 2 months. The countdown begins.
10 – 7 -12
50 days have passed now. Only 10 days remaining.
Here’s a list of 5 videos, 4 official trailers, 1 a 13 minute featurette on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
A lot of TV spots (10 to be precise) have been released too, you can search for them in YouTube, if the 5 links above were not enough to satiate your curiosity.
I am going to be at an IMAX to watch TDKR in its opening weekend, as promised. The official runtime, displayed at IMDb is 164 minutes, so this is going to be a LONG ride. With over one hour of footage shot using IMAX camera, it’s going to be a treat for the eyes.
Enjoy the movie in the first weekend itself, without the spoilers, literally, SPOILING your first hand experience of the movie. 🙂
10 days to go. The Dark Knight Rises!
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