As the end credits rolled after this two and a half-hour long spectacle, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of remorse at the fact that there would not be another Christopher Nolan- Batman film to look forward to. Not in the near future at least. Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy has changed the way people looked at superhero films forever. Be it the menacing power and devilish charm of the Bat, the insane antics of the Joker, and now the marauding intensity of Bane. Christopher Nolan has introduced and implemented elements that were erstwhile unknown to superhero films. The darkness, the grit, and the realism of Batman’s world has introduced us to a new realm in which the superhero is very much vulnerable and yet surmounts all odds to come up trumps. The Dark Knight Rises perpetually stamps the authority and the sheer audacity of Nolan on the genre. It is mindboggling to imagine how he envisioned such a mammoth undertaking and come out of it with all guns blazing.
The Dark Knight Rises starts eight years after the events of The Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), has been living a life of oblivion and is befriended only by the ever-reliable Alfred (Michele Caine). But his peaceful existence is brutally intruded upon by the arrival of a sinister terrorist in Gotham known only as Bane (Tom Hardy). Bane looks set to annihilate the whole city and the police force cannot match up to either his wit or his brutal strength. In desperation, Commissioner Gordon(Gary Oldman) calls upon Batman to stand up for Gotham. Batman, who took the fall for Harvey Dent is forced out of retirement and a fragile state of mind and body to come face to face with a terrorist who would stop at nothing to destroy Gotham. He is aided in his pursuit by a fearless cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who believes in the righteousness of the Batman.
The Dark Knight Rises is an epic undertaking both in terms of expectation and material. There is a huge ensemble cast of diverse characters. A director of lesser ability might have got lost so easily in the crowd of characters and subplots but not Nolan. He not only gives the required amount of attention to all the characters but also has an eye for the detail. Each character gets his/her due both in terms of screen time and material. Nolan ties up every loose end convincingly and leaves no questions unanswered apart from obviously the ones that he wants to leave unanswered. The movie starts off slow, gradually picking up momentum as we go along. The plot also might seem murky for many as initially, it is difficult to comprehend exactly what some of the characters are after. But as we proceed, the plot unfolds and we are hit by one surprise after the other. The climax is one of the best aspects of the film. I cannot remember a finer climax in recent times. The proceedings in the last 30 minutes will get you on the edge of your seats. The finale between Batman and Bane is not what many expected it to be. It is one hell of a showdown between what the Joker called a clash between an unstoppable force and an immovable object.
The Dark Knight Rises is essentially a drama. There are few action sequences in the first half and the Bat makes only a few brief appearances after which he is seen only in the climax. There is a lot of Bruce Wayne and an equal amount of Bane. Two love interests are introduced for Bruce in the form of Miranda Tait (Marion Cotillard) and Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Miranda’s character assumes a lot of importance by the end. And then there is the charismatic duo of Caine and Morgan Freeman who ooze charm in every scene that they are a part of. Bale effortlessly steps into a role that has multiple layers to it and essays it with conviction. Hardy has a tough one this time as his face is partially covered with a mask all the way through but does well emoting through his eyes and menacing mannerisms. It does give his character a one-dimensional feel and does not let him portrays his personality to the full but what Bane lacks in personality, Hardy makes up for in physicality.
Keeping aside all comparisons, The Dark Knight Rises is a brilliant motion picture that works as the perfect finale to an equally epic Trilogy. Watch it with an open mind and appreciate it for what it without looking to tear it apart. It surely ranks as one of the great movies of our times and one which cannot be missed at any cost.