After his last Batman film premiered worldwide in July 2008, Christopher Nolan became the beneficiary of being one of modern cinemas rarest treasures - the blonde-haired Dark Knight who reveled in a disarmingly delicious cocktail of high octane intellect and refreshingly sleek mainstream fare, the kind which awards the bespectacled executives at Warner Bros. with an orgasmic feast.
Simultaneously and knowingly, Nolan became the recipient to one of the worst challenges that the cinephiles can administer their beloved maestro with -- to outshine self-created greatness by outrunning mammoth expectations which The Dark Knight, a movie of frightening perfection promised. So although Rises is a fitting finale, a definitive end to the three-part series, it further magnifies the enormity of The Dark Knight.
In this final chapter, Nolans unsure nervousness in sweeping away his audience is unmistakably evident, despite the most spectacular of set pieces, primarily involving the opening aerial hijack, a land mine infested football stadium and a heinous street warfare sequence, that clock your standard three-act structure.
For eight years now, Gotham has been what it never could be, at least without the dependable aid of Batman - a relatively crimeless town bordering a Utopian environment, in contrast to what it eventually becomes in later course.
The stringent Dent Act effectively prevents the mob from flourishing; allowing the Man with the cowl to remain a recluse. But the peacefulness remains deceptive, just like the symbolic Harvey Dent whitewashes the public eye and terror looms large over the Gotham-sky hinting on an apparent carnage.
A menacing man clad in a comical gas-mask that covers his entire face (and oddly makes him less intimidating) is the new entrant whose priority remains to conclude Ras Al Ghul's incomplete legacy. He begins by crippling the citys economy, hitting the stock exchange in a daring financial assault, killing the stock of Wayne Enterprises and triggering Batman to force himself out of self-inflicted exile of manor-comfort melancholia.
To bail Mr. Wayne out of his newly acquired misery is Marion Cotillard's philanthropist-billionaire Miranda Tate - an environmentalist with confused intentions that disappointingly translate into a noticeably failed romantic chemistry between the two. Also on the grid is Selina Kyle, or popularly referred as Catwoman, a gorgeous sly burglar and the more exciting character of the movie, who intertwines with Batman and his alter-ego, making for a professional team as well as an intimate liaison.
Bane is out to destroy Gotham but he is not the maniacal terrorist that The Joker epitomized. He isn't half as compelling a villain, probably the weakest of all of them, equaling or overpowering Batman only in physical capacity. His idea is to inspire a deluding consciousness in the minds of the people and turn them villainously against the system.
His intention plainly seems to overthrow governance, his methodologies screaming of a fascist regime with a Taliban-like court of law. Contradicting these unprovoked ideologies is his interest to guzzle the city with nuclear weaponry. So one assumes that the socioeconomic themes of class conflict that the film strongly reflects on, or which make Bane the Bad Boy Messiah of social warfare (there's even an Occupy Wall Street-moment), is only his misguided mechanism to anarchize the State which will eventually crumble nightmarishly in apocalyptic doom, much like in Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities".
In this sense, The Dark Knight Rises is more political than your regular actioner, plenty much uncommitted to humor, involved staunchly and grimly in exploring the darkest shades of the human race, especially for a comic-book driven franchise. It entirely renovates the rule-book, both for sole-action films as well as the comic-inspired.
Continued in Part 2 : http://www.desimartini.com/reviews/ankur-pathak-the-dark-knight-rises/rd16296md1418.htm