Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded. The Batman
The Dark Knight Rises starts with this as it’s foundation. It has been eight years since the death of Harvey Dent and the lie of who he is and what he has done is still going strong. Yet the lie has taken it’s toll. It has eaten away at the soul of Commissioner Gordon and cost him his family and his integrity. Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, has also lost his soul and his very reason for living. He took on the sins of Harvey in the last movie, became the lie and has paid for it with his body and his very essence. Even Alfred is not above being involved in substituting truth for lies. The hope that he supplied to Bruce by burning Rachel’s letter has scared and wounded Bruce in a way the truth never would have. Each of these lies does come to light and the whole film shows the foolishness of building our lives and societies on anything but the truth. A lie, no matter how sincerely believed, will lead to ruin once the truth comes out. And as we all know, the truth always come out in the end.
I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear. Benjamin Martin – The Patriot
This line came to me after the movie and summed up what I had seen. Each of these character lives in fear of their lies and the consequences of them coming to light. Each one know that these lies have the power to destroy all that they have worked for. As each lie is exposed, they do become more than can be born. Batman is literally broken, Commissioner Gordon is proved to be a fraud and city of Gotham tears itself apart in the wake of all the revelations. This movie does everything it can to show that our faith can only be rewarded if it is in the right thing, if is is based on truth.
Nolan comments on the culture and politice of the day as well. Using the economic downturn of the last few years and poplist movements like Occupy Wall Street, nothing is left unexplored. Can society be torn down, can civilization be remade through the wanton destruction of law, ownership, property rights and just plain theft. At one point Selina Kyle is walking through a deserted apartment and is looking at a broken family photo, she says, “This use to be someone’s home” and her friend replies, “Now it’s everyone’s home”. The questions that Nolan raises on if the populist can truly rule itself without the constructs of law, civilization and order will be debated for a long time and is a very important issue. The movie, to me, seems to answer that law, order and civilization are needed but that deliberate and willful greed at the expense of others has to stop because this is just as destructive and evil.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming. Harvey Dent
Dent had no idea just how dark it would get before there is any hope or dawn to be seen in Gotham. After The Dark Knight, I could not imagine it getting worse and yet for most of The Dark Knight Rises that is exactly what happens. Bane and his cohorts plan is meticulous and because of that one of the scariest things ever seen in a comic book movie. There are times when it seems that hope has been completely lost. Nolan does something really interesting at the end of the film visually to help accentuate his point in that the final battle all happens in the morning, in the light. Batman is no longer a creature of the night, hiding in the shadows, he is in the middle of the light fighting side by side with the police of Gotham to bring down evil. A huge shift for a character who for the last eight years has disappeared into the dark and become a vilified myth. And if that was not enough there is more. Batman at the end of the last film has taken on the sins of Dent to redeem him in the eyes of the city, but in this film he raises the stakes. Batman takes upon himself the sins of Gotham, in the form of the bomb and rides off into the sunrise. Again he is the scapegoat, the one paying the price for all.
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” A Tale of Two Cities
This film pays off all that has been put into it by the fans and is everything that I had hoped for and more. The last film left me feeling the emptiness of the truth being exchanged for a lie. This film restores hope, a hope that is full and real, something that can be built upon because that hope is the bedrock of unshakable truth.