eumelia: (catwoman)
[personal profile] eumelia
Talking about The Dark Knight Rises on Twitter, has enabled me to flesh out my thoughts regarding the movie.

As is evident, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises yesterday.

Over all, I probably went in with too much expectation because I went out disappointed. The plot wasn't as tight as The Dark Knight, wasn't as interesting and wasn't, really, as dark. It was a good movie, craft wise, story wise, it lacked the punch I've come to expect from Nolan's movies.

The recurring themes of one type of insanity going up against another type were present and accounted for, but there was no memorable and defining moment, not even the mythic/iconic moment of Bane lifting Batman over his head and "breaking" him, felt as epic as it tried to be.

I've read several reviews of TDKR and am bored. Because analysing the movie from an economic/politically ideology prism and coming to the conclusion of "Christopher Nolan hates the 99%" or "Batman is the Hero of the 1%" is not only incredibly shallow, it's also choosing to take the movie at face value.

Really Batman fans? Have we not been taught to look beneath the mask.

Let me begin by saying that if you think Batman/Bruce Wayne was a ever a hero of "The Everyman" I don't know what comic books you were reading.

A few of Batman's defining characteristics are his radical conservatism, his rampant individualism and his hard work at maintaining the capitalist status quo.

That isn't analysis. That is stating the obvious.

So his moral bankruptcy is analogous to his actual bankruptcy, it's then that he gives in and hands over the city (of which he was the benevolent dictator, by enabling the city to enact a municipal PATRIOT ACT - euphemistically called the Harvey Dent act, gotta love the irony of the hypocrisy of such an act named after Two Face).

There are far more interesting details that come out of the of the movie and almost all of them come from the "villains".

I was very pleased to see Bane as the charismatic and intelligent leader that he is.

The decision to split Bane's story and share it with Talia's was interesting, although the delivery left something to be desired. The twist at the end that the child born in prison being Talia and not Bane would have had me gasping were it not for the spoon feeding of the fact that a child had been born in prison and only they managed to escape the hell hole.

Not to mention the whole Orientalist shtick that was stuck in there time and time again. The rehabilitation of Bruce Wayne? Yeah, not as interesting as you think. And again, the spoon feeding of "fear of death" thing, give the audience a bit of credit.

Yes the delivery left something to be desired, but what sold me? Bane did everything for love.

And not even romantic love.

Just, love. Because he loved Talia. He destroyed civilisation for her, for her skewed vision, he rallied the troupes, got the ball rolling and she had the trigger to destroy everything.

And he loved her.

Why? I kept thinking about the kind of man Bane is and was. It's clear that the prison wasn't made for any kind of punishment for criminals, but to house dissidents and keep them at bay. What was it about Bane that made his so distasteful to Ra's Al Ghul, when he was clearly loyal to his lover and daughter?

Not gonna lie, my heart broke for Bane at the end, when he was sacrificed so callously. After he cried for Talis. But I'm a sucker for tears.

I'm also a sucker for great lines that depict the parallels between "hero" and "villain".

I am a necessary evil, Bane said. This is me, charmed by narrative.

Let's talk about Catwoman. By far the most interesting character in the movie and a clear embodiment of the plight of the victims of the morally bankrupt capitalist system. Selina works outside the law and has no respect towards the people who, in her words, "live so large".

If ever there was a working class hero it would be her. Her first appearance is as a maid serving the rich and well fed at Wayne manor. She steals Bruce's finger prints and a string of pearls - more on that, in a bit.

But as such she's also a criminal and in the age of no second chances, her only way to survive is to continue to commit crime. She lives on her own terms within the oppressive system of capitalism where the only hope is philanthropy (something shown to be limiting and destructive, if the cash flow doesn't ebb continuously).

In a discussion on twitter with [twitter.com profile] willbrooker, who asked his readers and the internet at large: "did you feel Selina and Holly's relationship could be romantic as well as friendship?"

For me, as I said there, there was a clear sexual element, but I wasn't too sure about a romantic one, as I felt they weren't really on equal footing. I'm always happy to find some stealth queer element, though obviously, I would have rather had an actual bisexual Selina, I take what I can get reading between the lines. Especially considering, her girlfriend disappears once Baine implements the siege on Gotham.

She uses powerful and rich men as tools to get what she needs, both material and as a way to evade the law (the Senator was quite disgusting and he embodies the sexism embedded in the capitalist system, too bad Nolan habitually falls into sexist tropes over and over again, much like his unapologetic Orientalism), so it's really interesting that Selina and Bruce manage to build a life outside of Gotham, once Bruce isn't the dictator of Gotham.

Selina cannot use Bruce the way she would have and Bruce can no longer abuse his power like he did when he was using his money and leisure to maintain the status quo in Gotham.

A first, I thought the pearls were a sign of domestication and was a little irritated to see Selina wearing them a the end of the movie, but my friend said something quite profound. The pearls have always been a metaphor for what Bruce lost the night his parents were murdered. In essence, the pearls on Selina represent her filling the empty place in Bruce's life. On her own terms.
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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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