The Dark Knight Rises and Occupy Wall Street

(Warning: Spoiler for those who have not seen 2008 The Dark Knight)

On 17 September , 2011, a group of people protested against the influence of corporates on government at Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district .  This lead to a movement called “Occupy Wall Street” in 2011 where people protested against banks which were responsible for 2008 recession which lead to increase in wealth gap in USA.

This movement both got support and criticism from comic book world. Frank Miller called the protester “thieves and rapists” while Alan Moore said that protester were fighting for “what is rightfully theirs”.

Next year,Warner Bros would release The Dark Knight Rises. Sequel to 2008 ‘s superhero movie The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises would be set 8 years after Harvey Dent has taken his own life and Batman has not only  taken blame for death of Harvey Dent but also for people killed by Harvey Dent. In this world , Batman has stopped fighting crime since he has been blamed for Harvey Dent’s murder and Bruce Wayne has also been out of public eye since then.

In the movie there would be a scene where the antagonist Bane would provoke crowd against rich and powerful. That scene would seem to be inspired a bit by Occupy Wall Street  movement. To be fair comparison with Bane’s movement in movie is unfair to Occupy Wall Street. Bane ‘s movement is violent and something like Mao-Lenin’s communist movement while Occupy Wall Street is peaceful and against crony capitalism. However during 2011 some people thought Occupy Wall Street is “October Revolution” of USA. For those people , Bane ‘s movement may look like what will happen if Occupy Wall Street win their objective.

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However Bane is not just symbolic representation of nightmare-version of Occupy Wall Street. In the movie, Bale tells the crowd that when Commissioner Jim Gordon  was supposed to retire, he planned to reveal in his farewell speech that Harvey Dent murdered 8 innocent people and died by his hand. However Batman wanted people to remember Harvey Dent as a tough crime-fighter, which is why he told Jim to blame the murder committed by Harvey Dent on Batman and Jim exactly did that.

Bane also tells the crowd that  Dent Act, one of the toughest anti-crime law passed by Gotham City , should be revoked since the law is based on the name of a person who was himself a criminal.

In the real world, US citizens were questioning whether their government were defending them or not on the basis of the way they were handling War On Terror, especially the Iraq War.

The Dark Knight shows how people have lost trust on those who were supposed to defend them as people now think Batman is a villain and not the protector of Gotham City.Even Bruce Wayne has started to question whether he can protect people as Batman or not.

Bruce Wayne starts to believe in himself only when he is told to do so by a policeman named John Blake.

However the movie is not just about allegory of Occupy Wall Street and Patriot Act. Besides the fact , that Bruce Wayne spends half of the movie getting back in shape after he gets his back broken in a fight with Bane, the movie also looks at what has happened ever since Batman has taken blame for Harvey Dent. The movie shows Bruce Wayne as man whose spirit has been broken by death of his long time lover Rachel and the guilt he has for not saving Harvey Dent either from becoming a bad guy or finally dying. The Bruce Wayne of this movie is not same as Bruce Wayne of previous movie. While Bruce Wayne of previous movie was not a very cheerful guy, in this movie, Bruce Wayne has pretty much lost confidence in himself both physically and mentally. This is why Bruce Wayne has been out of public eye and stopped working in his company. This is why Bruce Wayne has stopped being Batman.It is only when Bane starts becoming in Gotham City that he forces himself to get back and start crime fighting.

Bane is not the only character introduced in the movie. This movie introduces Selina Kyle, who is played by Anne Hathaway. Selina Kyle is a cat burglar. At first she works against Bruce Wayne , as she disguise herself as maid and steals diamonds  from safe in Bruce Wayne . However later she joins Batman to fight Bane. In order to fight Bane , she becomes a superhero called Catwoman. Pretty much like Batman , she has not superpower and thus she relies on her athletic ability and gadgets to fight criminals. The costume of Catwoman was decent. It was necessary  thing to do , since Halle Berry pretty much destroyed image of Catwoman with her portrayal in the standalone Catwoman (which was not at all loyal to comic book storyline) with bad acting and terrible costume.

However Selina Kyle is not the only female companion of Bruce Wayne. The movie also introduce Miranda Tate, played by Marion Cotillard, who is a businesswoman who buys most of the shares of Wayne Enterprises (company owned by Bruce Wayne) and later becomes love partner of Bruce Wayne. She fills the vaccum left by Rachel.

The tone of the movie is even less cheerful than The Dark Knight considering movie is set after tragedies that happened in the life of Bruce Wayne by end of The Dark Knight. In this movie, Bruce Wayne focuses less on fighting crime and more on his personal and emotional struggle. Alfred Pennyworth , his family butler, mentor and father figure helps him in fighting emotional battle.

Even though the movie is emotional , focus on action is not lost. This movie has more action than The Dark Knight. Especially more hand to hand combat. This is due to fact that Bane relies more on his strength and less on intelligence unlike Joker in order to bully people. This movie has two scenes which involves hand to hand combat  scene between Bruce Wayne and Bane. I found the first Batman vs. Bane fight scene better and memorable due to dialog delivery , brutal sounds, cinematography , tone, color, production design and fight moves.

I think hardest thing for Christopher Nolan to do was to make Bane awesome. Not only the image of Bane was destroyed due to 1997 Batman and Robin, but also because antagonist of previous movie , Joker was highly praised due to acting of Heath Ledger and how well the character was written. For any character to live upto expectation of Joker was going to be tough. However , I found Bane to be worthy successor of Joker. I liked the minimalist approach of Christopher Nolan towards the character as they focused largely on brute of Bane. Tom Hardy was a good choice for the role. He had already become fan favorite due to his acting in Inception. People had some issues with voice of Bane, as they found it hard to understand . Personally I had no problem with voice. For me , it gave the effect of Darth Vader.

The ending and twist confused some people, but overall the movie was worthy successor to The Dark Knight. It would have been hard to be as good as The Dark Knight. That movie has been compared to The Godfather and Pulp Fiction. For much of 2008 , it was no.1 on IMDB Top 250. However the movie itself a good movie watching experience. Christopher Nolan had announced that this would be last of Batman movie he would direct and Christian Bale also refused to act as Batman again, so this movie was pretty much a farewell to The Dark Knight Trilogy. While the series is over, it’s influence has not not gone. Producers even now are trying to make serious and dark blockbusters inspired by the series success. One of the examples is Man of Steel. However none of them can come close to The Dark Knight trilogy.