A message of hope pervades Nolan‘s third in this Batman trilogy.
From chaos, order.
From death, life.
From a cave-like prison of darkness to freedom in the light.
The Bale… The Bat… The JGL… The Cat… Fast vehicles and witty chopped phrasing. This one didn’t leave me with a 2 hour migraine like the last one. It’s like Nolan found a way to use a little humor to break up the tension a bit.
I’ll admit that even in the small town theater that I saw this in, I was overly aware of the recent shooting in Aurora. I eyed the doorways and crowd members, and scenes with gunfire became brutal, constant reminders of the tragedy. The violence is inescapable.
Fear plays a persistent enemy in film and life, nagging and threatening our joy. Author John Knowles calls fear “the opposite face of uncontrollable joy.” I love that phrase, seeing joy as the conqueror of fear. Since I have often found such joy in the medium of film, I found the mingling two awkward and disconcerting. I had to let go the nagging protective voice in my head that might have wept or fled the theater.
Without knowing of the events that would surround his movie, Nolan inlaid an escape route from fear within the film. He gave Batman an innate hatred of killing. Hathaway’s throwback to the Adam West version of Catwoman enjoyed teasing Batman for his distaste for weaponry.
Nolan instilled a love of justice and a selfless care for human life in his two heroes: the masked Bale and unmasked Joseph Gordon Levitt. Both seemed to understand that a hero must sacrifice himself to save others and must never lose faith. Real enemies care only for their own interests and sacrifice all to achieve them.
This film seemed to triumph beyond the shadows of July 20th. Even the title is given new meaning. As Proverbs 30, verse 5 says, “Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”