By Suman Bhattacharya (Noida, India)
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The Dark Knight Rises – Nolan Rises against all odds

A BATMAN movie is always eagerly anticipated and when it follows a worldwide blockbuster like The Dark Knight and a Heath Ledger portrayal of Joker which re-defined the psycho villains in Hollywood and worldwide, then an enormous expectation from the third part of BATMAN franchise is nothing but an understatement.

Christopher Nolan comes back with his dark shade of batman which kept us hooked to the screen twice before in recent past. Nolan’s batman was more real and appealing to everyone as it wasn’t bound just as a kid movie but much much more than that. Now who have followed the trailer already know this is the last part of the franchise and with words “This is where it all ends” and “An epic conclusion” just adds to the fuel. So now mother of all questions: Does The Dark Knight Rises fulfill all the expectation?? Is it at the same level as the The Dark Knight?? Does Nolan get it right the third time?? Can “Bane” surpass “Joker” or at least create the same effect. The answers are mixed I guess. But end of the day, Yes! The Batman has risen! No doubt about that.

Nolan takes us to eight years from where The Dark Knight ended and now Bruce Wayne is a cripple and doesn’t really mingle with society and all the dynamism is just vanished. He is everything but what the Batman was. His business is under serious problem and to summarize he is on soup!

No BATMAN is there for the Gotham City and people still thinks “BATMAN” was the killer of “Harvey Dent”, so called Hero of Gotham. There comes an attractive CAT thief our very own “CATWOMAN” which tries to make things happening and dynamic introduction scene of “Bane” make things interesting but practically nothing exciting happens as such. Now I see problem with the narration of this part. Nolan wanted us to wait for BATMAN to arrive and wanted us to get more glimpse on Bruce Wayne and his personal life. Also in the meantime Bane’s rise and trying to take control of Wane enterprises doesn’t really adds to the pace of the movie. Audience gets restless and so am I. We needed BATMAN desperately to save the day. Some may argue it’s Nolan’s masterstroke to keep us waiting for the superhero to come just to make us attached to the move, but I am afraid that hardly works and after some time it’s just test of patience. Frankly I expected better writing and Editing from a Nolan’s movie for first 40 mins.

Then there comes BATMAN and HOW!! It totally saves the day and from there on Nolan gets it just right. Story is not that fresh but screen play and pace is just right to keep you hooked and to root for the BAT to save Gotham and us. After the interval it takes a faster pace and till the grand finale it just gets better and better and an edge of the seat thriller. There are few twists and turns at the end and some were predictable some weren’t. But the pace and gluing screenplay does it for Nolan. The Finale is absolutely magnificent and I guarantee all the viewers will leave the theater with a smile.

As per the performances, practically The Dark Knight belonged to JOKER but this one belongs to BATMAN. Christian Bale gets his older Bruce Wayne and fighting BATMAN just correct and the man justified Nolan’s faith on him and proves he is the best man to carry out this complex role. Now the Super villain, Bane played by Tom hardy will get a mixed reaction. It’s very difficult for an actor when audiences can’t see his face. Tom Hardy does it fair but not great. His physique is extraordinary and really adds to fear value which is expected from a villain who is supposed to break Batman’s back. But the problem for me was his voice. His metallic voice is strictly okay considering the villainous charm and occasional dark humor doesn’t really gel well. Much sharper and fiery voice would have added to his character much more.

With comparison to Joker I am afraid he will fall behind, but the comparison is a bit unfair as two villains are of complete different genre. Bane’s immense physical power gives him a different stature. In one to one duel he was always the one who had the advantage over BATMAN.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake (Read Robin) got a significant role and does it with ease. One should hope he would have involved in the action scenes a bit more but I guess Batman wanted to protect him. You have to see the finale to understand why.

Anne Hathaway as Cat woman is quite okay and till the end really wins the heart of the audience. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine as Fox and Alfred are as dependable as ever. Good to see the emotional side of Alfred this time.

Marion Lorillard as Miranda Tate excels in a small but significant role. Special mention to background music which really acts as a character to the movie does a great deal to hook us to the screen.

To conclude, The Dark Knight Rises may not be Nolan’s best work and best movie in Batman trilogy, but it is still one of the best superhero movies ever made. It keeps its promise to serve an “EPIC CONCLUSION” and you will leave the theatre satisfied. It calls for a SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER! GO FOR IT.

Rating: 3.5/5

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