The Dark Knight Rises Themes and Thoughts
My Thoughts Concerning the Themes in The Dark Knight Rises
First, this third Batman film is a planned conclusion that is a part of a trilogy. With that comes a simple rule that is prominent in trilogies: the third film mirrors aspects of the first. In a way the third film in a trilogy is a redefined version of the first film. Without exhausting myself with extensive commentary on trilogies, I suggest the reader reflect over the similarities between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi as a prime example of this trilogy rule.
If The Dark Knight Rises mirrors Batman Begins then we should look at some of the prominent aspects of Batman Begins and see how they can be redefined or re-explored in The Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins is about redemption and the emergence of goodness; about “bringing things into harmony.” Bruce Wayne rises from his unfortunate and sad state to his potential as Batman; creating a perona- a symbol- that can save his city. The moment he defeats Ra’s al Ghul at the end of the film is the moment he redeems himself from the guilt of his childhood. Now, the much larger task of redeeming his city becomes his primary focus.
In The Dark Knight Rises we will most likely see this come to pass which could mean a temporary end to the Batman persona. In The Dark Knight, we come to realize that Gotham City cannot be saved by Batman alone, Gotham has to rise on its own much like a child must learn to ride a bicycle on their own (even if the parent is helping; they must learn to rely on their own two legs). That’s why Bruce put so much faith into Harvey Dent because the city had to find a way to heal itself.
Gotham City won’t be a perfect city by the end of The Dark Knight Rises but it will definitely be the strongest it has been since the glory days of Thomas Wayne.
I think we will see Gotham City starting to repair itself and it will start by ridding itself of Batman, the hero that’s not needed but deserved. I think this is where the character Bane comes in. I believe he will be used to flush out the Batman; to bring him out of darkness and have him emerge into the public light. I’m thinking possibly that Gotham City will be rooting for the Batman task force, and by extension, Bane. This would mean to Gotham City that Batman is the villain, even though we, the audience, know that he is the hero. That is why I believe that by film’s end, Bruce may temporarily destroy his Batman persona so Gotham City can move on. I know it sounds crazy but it’s a theory.
I also believe (this is more of a fanboy wish than theory) that Catwoman will also represent redemption but for someone else. Looking at her character’s history and M.O., I believe she will be working to restore her family name which may have ties to Falcone, Maroni, or some other prominent crime family within Gotham City. She could very well be the mob’s very own vigilante. Not necessarily a villain to Batman but, rather an anti-hero trying to restore the once reputable name of her family.
This Catwoman theory could work seeing as Bruce Wayne set about to redeem himself and to be worthy of his father’s name and heroism which were shown in Batman Begins.
This is just to get the theorizing beginning. There are many more aspects of Batman Begins to explore here and within The Dark Knight Rises. I just wanted to focus on what I saw as the most prominent.
Feel free to discuss your theories and parallels because we have until July 20, 2012 before we’ll know for sure.
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