Christopher Nolan has created or rather attempted to maintain the historical expectations set by earlier versions of the Batman, with Dark Knight Rises.
"The Dark Knight Rises" on the hot weekend afternoon, watched alone, in a multiplex, PVR-Priya in Delhi,resembling old style movie theater, with On line tickets, to be collected in print, in line, in the quest out in the open Sun at its best of ferocity, with longest queue there for on line ticket collection, brings, brought back the days of whistling and charged up audience (I do however wonder, if railways can do with SMS tickets, why PVR can not do it with that). However, at certain age, such theater present great fun. Still remember the sense of accomplishment as we collected more than dozen tickets at one go, fighting the crowds on what actually was a ticket window at six in the morning at Raiput theater, something you can not imagine in plush, airconditioned Multiplexes of the day. Early morning show was feature of new movie release in Raipur on Thursdays. I have no way of figuring out whether it was Christopher Nolan's genius getting cheered or the impact of the ambiance of the old school theater which prompted the crowd.
I was there sitting alone, somewhere to the back of theater and sitting next to me was another guy in the same age group as mine (precariously holding on to the right side of forty, just for a while). I could, through the dark of the theater see the gleeful smile of satisfaction as the Batman appeared for the first time on the screen, and looked back at the policemen chasing the perpetrator of stock exchange heist, reminding one of Occupy Wall Street (Ms Ayn Rand would be happy to have the Caped crusader on her side), with a smirk. Why even grown ups love Batman is an interesting thought to ponder about. The man is righteous fighter, a captivating baritone, cool gadgets and girls on the flank, still unhindered privacy and looming solitude, ever more enchanting to the budget hardened, diaper changing men of the day. As one grows up and becomes increasingly aware of the limitations of one's capabilities, Batman comes as an elusive dreams of ambitious boys ending into pathetically domesticate men, stepped out of the youthful delusions of romantic love. The Batman carries no Superpower, he is a lonely worker who works on creating scientific gears to take him up, has devoted friends in Alfred, his man Friday, played by Michael Cain,who can be watched in mesmerized affection, all through the day, always so sweet, and Gordon, irrepressible Cop of Gotham, occasionally waking up to dreams of an absent father, asking..Why do we fall, Bruce, Why do we fall? He suffers in loneliness, exercises like a middle aged man in the stunning desert prison of Mehramgarh, inspiring men like me across the world. He has his own hard work as the bulwark of his strength to support his strong desire to fight anything not fitting his idea of an ideal world. Although in this edition, Batman seems little compromising, appreciating that Ideal is too harsh and too unreal as word and settles for protecting for the less dangerous, "Whatever is the best at the moment".
The movie brings to mind dreadful thoughts especially those in India with Bane, being like a Anti-Corruption brigade going berserk. When Bane stands in the stadium, denouncing the structure on which society stand, on the ground that it has failed the men on the street. It reminds one of the statements by the Anna Hazare team on issues as wide as Kashmir issue or international relations of India with other countries, simply on account of high moral ground acquired by the team as they picked the cause which resonates deeply in larger Indian psyche, corruption. We need to fight our own fights, it can not be outsourced to anyone outside, and if you do it, be prepared to hand over a moral authority to the one who gets the hand dirty.
The relationship of Melinda Tate, rhyming for some reason with Melinda Gates, with Bane which forms the backdrop of a forced suspenseful twist, does not make much of sense, Nolan would have done better staying in with Bane as the last citadel of evil. The entry of Batman all the time is not as exciting as they were in The Last Knight, but still, there was enough cheering when Christian Bale appears in the end with Ann Hathaway, as her partner, fulfilling the long-standing wish of the most appropriate, Alfred. The irreverent and ever fashionable Morgan Freeman as Dr. Fox is charming as ever, if only bosses were as accommodating to the team members sense of humour, very rare even when they might not be millionaire as Bruce Wayne. Batman is what a man would want to be, strong on his own, allowed to keep together his flock of loyal and his share of adventure, and rich enough to live the way one wants to be, and a father's arm to hang on to even if it were in the dream. Thankfully the movie ends with only a hint of victorious Bruce Wayne getting together with the affable Anne Hathaway, Bruce Wayne, getting bottled water as the Water filter fails would be pathetic, well, My Eureka Forbes does, so I am out for bottled water, in the mean time, do go watch the Dark Knight, with inhibitions down, ready to cheer and shout and whistle in the movie hall, and to come back, shower, go for a run and do some push ups, like great lessons from the League of Shadows.