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Dark Knight Rises

"No one cared who I was, until I put on the mask"
- Bane (from. 'Dark Knight Rises')

One of many interesting lines from Bane, a character in the Dark Knight rises. I found myself at the cinema last night watching the movie! somewhat unexpectedly. Not a movie I would have planned to watch if I had sway, but the youths at church wanted to see it so I went along!

It is a little difficult for me to give a verdict on the film as a whole as I understand it to be a trilogy. And this is the only one I have watched out of the three. What I will say is that the plot was  interesting . Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent's crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane's plans to destroy the city.  The ending was a little more than disappointing.

The characters are quite fascinating. I liked Bane and his lines. An intriguing bad guy. I found it appalling what the Director did to him in the end - it appears the Director decided that the worst villain in cinema for sometime is merely a puppet of a reclusive femme fatale. As for the setting, it threw me off a bit because I am used to "dark" Batman movies where the menace of evil is present. Which presumably was avoided to draw sharper the contrast between peaceful Gotham to the "storm that is coming".

And what of the overall theme? It seems to be less that good always triumphs evil - rather more that the current social order may be unfair and corrupt but it is the best we have got. The devil you know (the corrupt police and rich) are better than a saviour you don't know (who turns out to devilish). In fact this unknown salvation tragedy is made throughout the film - we see "cat woman" misplaced hope in thugs; Mr Wayne's misplaced hope in his "girlfriend"; and, so on and on. In a way they are replaying a key line from Bane : "I will build you and Gotham up with hope and then destroy you. Hope is really the key to torture. Gotham will build to a point of joy and then be wiped from the map"

 Proper decloaking of its worldview, an important Christian exercise, I will leave to others who have watched the other two! But I couldn't help note that despite the triumph of "law and order" - Bane's fundamental challenge to the corrupt and the pursuit of an inverted order  was in part not addressed. Indeed, one of the flaws in allowing Bane to descend into a secondary evil is that the powerful questions he raises about hope, fear and corruption are in the end rationalised as rumblings of a man seduced by an irrestible woman. So in the end the question still remains - is the mask important? And whose mask is it?

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