Eight years after the Joker was vanquished, Bruce Wayne has hung his cape up and decided that Gotham doesn't need Batman anymore. It takes a masked megalomaniac mercenary Bane to unleash mayhem and take over the city to get Batman out and in action. While Commissioner Gordon, Alfred and Fox retain their roles, new characters of Cat woman and Robin get introduced in this elaborately crafted script.
It is interesting how Nolan weaves in contemporary themes of terrorism, oppressive governments, economic collapse and anarchy into a superhero narrative.
Bane liberates prisoners from jails, sets up courts to decide the fate of the oppressors and promises to help the citizens of Gotham redeem their city from the corrupt. The film plays around with all of these ideologies juggling many story threads at one time effortlessly. What the film does explicitly state is the eternal match of the good vs evil and how the two are interpreted by individuals and societies together.
While one misses the Joker from the second part of the trilogy, Bane as the deadly mercenary is no less menacing. Masked for most part of the film, he is physically and ideologically threatening. He makes for an intimidating metaphor of all that is wrong in these economically unstable times we live in, as well as a portend of what might happen if course correction is not undertaken. His presence, tough incomparable to Heath's legendary Joker, adds to the story immensely.
Anne Hathway as Selina, the vixen like thief, is the other alluringly tantalizing character in this edition of the saga. She is slinky, intelligent and makes for the perfect foil for an otherwise silent Batman. Lewitt as the young cop who seems to know every detail of the puzzle always also impresses with his short role that towards the end hints at him being Robin.
Despite the beautiful moments, TDKR is not without faults. Some parts of the film are just dialogues, heavy and loaded with meaning, these drag the scenes and test ones patience.
The film is immensely gloomy, a sense of all pervading destruction grips the mind from the very first scene, leaving very little room for humor. Romantic track between Tate and Wayne is unrealized and ends up being a farce.
And then there is the deeply felt absence of the Joker.
Yet, TDKR is an intelligent film that not just gives one the thrill of watching a superhero flick, but also makes one think and engages the mind. Watch this one without fail, multiple viewings are guaranteed.