Monday, July 23, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises over an American tragedy
Like most of the movie going nation,my sister and I made plans to see the third chapter in director Christopher Nolan's Batman saga,The Dark Knight Rises,this weekend. We didn't intend to go on opening night or one of the midnight shows on the preceding Thursday,knowing just how crowded those theaters would be.
Unfortunately,someone else took gruesome advantage of that anticipation and the large audiences at a movie house in Aurora,Colorado,with the results of that terrifying night still unfolding before us all.
I won't dwell on the details,since they have been well covered enough and will continue to be so for quite some time. However,if you are seeking ways to send what help and support you can to the folks in Aurora,there are plenty of places to choose from and what ever you give will be appreciated.
The outpouring of sympathy for the victims has been enormous and even Hollywood has shown a good deal of respect towards the situation by holding off on their usual report of box office totals during this time of crisis.
The cast and crew of TDKR have made statements of support regarding the tragic event,plus many of the pop culture followers out there are showing their maturity and thoughtfulness by talking about what matters most here:
What does matter most is making the best out of what life has to offer or throws in your path unexpectedly and that includes taking some time out to enjoy the pleasures available to you,especially with family and friends
In that spirit,my sister and I did go to a matinee showing of The Dark Knight Rises(which was our original plan,due solely to the lower ticket prices than fear of attending a movie theater after dark).
We had no trouble getting in and everything at the multiplex we went to ran smoothly. The entire atmosphere of the place and the other people in the audience was not any different from the last time the two of us saw a film in it's first run(which was The Hunger Games,btw).
The only thing that was missing from the show that day was a trailer for an upcoming movie called Gangster Squad that the studio pulled from Dark Knight showings because of a scene involving movie theater gun play.
Instead,a teaser trailer for next year's Superman movie,Man of Steel,played and the one we saw had a voice over by Kevin Costner who plays Pa Kent(there's another version that has a Russell Crowe as Jor-El narration). Granted,it was just standard superhero talk but I did feel that brief bit of speech resonated much more strongly than it normally would,to me at least because of what had happened:
As to the movie itself,The Dark Knight Rises was a solid conclusion to the story line that Nolan set up and while Bane, the major villain of the piece,wasn't as dynamic a foe as the Joker was in the previous entry,he still made for a very viable threat to both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle was suitably subtle and sleek for this take on a more mean streets rendition of Catwoman. The true breakout performance of the ensemble cast belongs to Joseph Gordon-Levitt as police officer John Blake,who is more than he seems.
The themes of the story do play into some of our current social economic troubles,along with the classic struggle between rising and falling regimes that are the spine of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities,which Nolan points to as a direct inspiration for the plot points of this film. That book showcases how even a movement to change the world for the better can be misused by those looking to wield power unjustly or satisfy their own personal vendettas,which is well reflected in TDKR and can be a helpful teaching tool for English Lit students to boot:
My heartfelt condolences and best thoughts go out to the people of Aurora and all those affected by this terrible event. The only consolation that any of us have at this point is that the despicable being responsible for this horror was swiftly captured and will face justice.
Actually,that's not the only comforting thing to come out of this. Stories about the heroics of those in the audience who saved the lives of their loved ones during the attack and the police officers that drove the injured directly in their squad cars to local hospitals in order to get them medical assistance as soon as possible have helped to replenish my faith in the decency of humanity.
People insist that superheroes or other fantasy fare are mere escapism but during this last decade,we've needed the inspiration that they have provided us with in preserving the belief that when the chips are down,there are those who will rise up to do the right thing,more than perhaps ever before.
That shining thread of hope may seem slim at times,yet it is strong enough to help us hold on and reach out to others when the world appears to be falling down all around us. Hopefully,the true legacy of this Batman trilogy will be one of triumph over fear from without and within,rather than the sad real world horror unleashed during it's final chapter. Knowing the basic nature of movie fans,that will come to pass as time goes on:
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