Dark Knight Rises

by Andrea Elizabeth

Some are saying that Dark Knight Rises is the best movie ever made. I think it was a very good movie. Was it the best movie ever? The first obstacle to that place in cinematic attribution could be a critique of the premise that carries through the trilogy of the original villain, Ra’s Al Ghul. He believes that when a certain level of corruption infests a region, the people must be killed en masse.
I cannot say that this isn’t plausible because it has happened in history where an idealistic person rises and seeks to blot out entire groups of people based on some sort of prejudice and feeling of superiority. My problem with that is that I don’t find such people relatable. But prejudice, even based on supposed sinfulness, is widespread. Perhaps justification for it is based on the belief that God will wipe out huge groups of people who don’t measure up, in hell.
I have accepted the Old Testament stories of entire cities being purged, including men women and children, even when such stories are criticized by people who do not believe a loving God would act in such a way. I think they have a different expectation towards relating to God. I don’t necessarily believe that God needs to act in a way that I would. There are too many differences between us, and there are too many other good and merciful things that he does that out-weigh his wrathful side in my estimation.
When a human decides to act in a self-righteous manner by punishing large groups of people that he does not know, I am doubtful of his ability to discern the justification of his actions more than I am of God’s.
The movie V for Vendetta puts the shoe on the other foot. In it the terroristic perjurer is the good guy. I guess it depends on your idea of what corruption is like, and whose fault it is. Commissioner Gordon and Batman believe in a more surgical method, where obvious bad guys are detained, but not killed. I suppose bad guys for them are those who break the law, but let’s not discuss how the laws came to be.
Gordon engenders trust by coming across as a humble street sweeper, not as a Messiah. For that he needs Batman. Batman is held in check at first by Rachel, and also by Alfred and Fox. By the way, I thought Alfred was a little out of character in this last movie and my suspension of disbelief was suspended by that turn in the relationship. Similarly I wasn’t able to stay with the Rachel and Batman relationship. I thought she was too mean and critical of him. Her judgment of him sounds kind of like Ra’s Al Ghul’s judgment of Gotham. But at least she knew him personally.
I believe stories are people’s way of working out what their relationship with God. Perhaps Rachel is the corrective side of God. Her judgments did have a basis, but the storytelling makes you more sympathetic to Batman than she was. Our sympathies can be easily manipulated. Lord have mercy.

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