ByPhilip Schmohl, writer at Creators.co
A film student, independant film maker and lover of movies all my life - this site will be a source for thoughtful commentary and opinion ab
Philip Schmohl

Let's all get past how atrocious the critics thought Batman Vs. Superman really was and let's hear from the fans. You know - the type of people, like those in Cincinnati, OH., who wore black & orange, even in the face of the Bengals 25 year football slump. Yes, you diehards who, like myself, can't stop watching this movie, even in the face of all its writing and editing flaws. First off, let me go on the record as stating: if Ben Affleck were seeking redemtion, he found it.

In his portrayal we find an older, darker, more cynical vigilante, who's made peace with the fact that Batman is a criminal, as well as a protector of innocents and has always been such. What I love about the sequence where Alfred fuels his rage toward Superman, is that we've never seen Alfred in this light before. These kinds of moments in the film truly color the tone and perspective of the movie altogether. Think about the influence Alfred has held over Bruce ALL of his life. How he has held sway over him, feeding his prejudice, his fear, his anger. Never has a film in the Batman cinema legacy given Alfred so much power over its main character. It is Alfred's hidden agenda that stirs the Batman from his cave, at least in this version of the Dark Knight's story.

Bruce Wayne listens quietly...
Bruce Wayne listens quietly...

Alfred's whole demeanor changes, even his voice drops into an almost sinister tone, as he fires up the surveillance videos to add impact to his narrative about "...men fall from the skys."

"Men fall from the skys..."
"Men fall from the skys..."

"...gods hurl thunderbolts."

It is trance-like and Bruce is held captive by the narrative coming from this man who has been a gaurdian and benefactor to him all his life, more so than even his own birth parents. It is Alfred's prejudice we see, his fears, his hatred of the powerlessness the Earth faces. It is Alfred's rage that fuels Bruce Wayne. And you can sense the psychological manipulation, the 'survivor's guilt' he's twisting Bruce's thinking with. Then, he hurls the last invictive at his ward, inferring that he, Bruce Wayne has become a cruel master - more bully than hero. He does it so expertly that it pastes a cruel frown upon Bruce's face...

The cruel visage of the Dark Knight...
The cruel visage of the Dark Knight...

...but Bruce Wayne never argues the point, objects or even interrupts Alfred in his tirade, giving us a keen insight into who really planted this agenda in the heart of our night vigilante. Yes, it is Alfred's light touches and subliminal suggestions which have motivated The Batman in his carreer. What a surprise it was, when this sequence was finished, to realize that all along, for his missions, each cause, each outcry against the villiany and affliction by Gotham's criminal underbelly, comes to him through the filter that is Alfred. That the battery of angst, which powers this daunting vigilante, is recharged nightly by his man-servant. But light shone from Alfred's mechanations chasts Batman as mere shadow over Gotham. Again, it is that man behind the curtain who really weilds the power. Yes, as cliche as it may sound, but still true, especially in this movie, that this was not solely the will of one, Bruce Wayne, but these many years, it was the butler, did it.

Alfred manipulates Bruce's guilt...
Alfred manipulates Bruce's guilt...

END

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