Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Juhi Pande

The effervescent Juhi reviews Hollywood movies for, check out her blog xoxo

Juhi Pande

I’m a sucker for superhero films. Fantasy amped with steroidal action where the hero always wins. What’s not to like?

Then there’s Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which makes many real life events seem….. empty and… vanilla.

Maybe this is just the fangirl in me talking, but you and I both know that The Dark Knight Rises is the most eagerly awaited film of this year. In my case, the last couple of years.

I watched it last night. And I could give it a four word review. Or a four thousand word review and it would all boil down to the same thing. Christopher Nolan for President. Too much? Let me try breaking this down..

The Dark Knight Rises begins with an opening sequence that is going to blow your mind and then seamlessly move into the first half which is the lull before the storm. A broken, in spirit and body, Bruce Wayne decides to put on his cape and mask once again to fight a masked (yet capeless) villain, who seems like he could snap the Batman in half. Bruce Wayne looks tired, and whats worse is that the Batman looks almost weak. The film focuses more on Waynes personal struggle rather than the Batman’s heroism. Christian Bale has managed to move from weak to strong with an ease that only he’s capable of. I will not lie, the first half of the film does seem a bit slow, but that’s in retrospect and only if you’re looking for flaws. There are quite a few new characters, so the lack in speed is necessary for the build up.

The Dark Knight Rises

After Heath Ledgers performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, I had my doubts about how Nolan would try and woo the audience with his villain. Choosing Bane, with his mask and bulk, seemed rather risky, especially after the Jokers facial histrionics. But then Tom Hardy could be rolled up in a carpet, tied up with string, thrown in a dungeon, and he would still deliver a stellar performance. As Bane, he looks menacing. The nonchalance of his voice does the trick. Unforgiving and leading Gotham to absolute anarchy, Bane holds all the aces. For a while.

photo courtesy |

Anne Hathaway plays a lithe Catwoman, who would catch anyone’s fancy, especially Bruce Waynes. But she has competition from Marion Cotillard as Miaranda Tate, Millionaire do-gooder, who may be the only one to save Bruce Waynes crumbling empire. Then there’s Joseph Gordon Levitt as John Blake, a brave new cop, who seems to be at the right place at the right time, all the time. Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman & Michael Caine do what they’ve been doing effortlessly since the first movie and all their characters come together to form a symphony which brings the final instalment of this trilogy to a brilliant crescendo.

Christopher Nolan (photo courtesy |

The Dark Knight Rises is heavy, and dark, with anarchy and terrorism thrown at us exactly how they are in real life. There’s no fun in the film, very little repartee, and even that seems strained. But how else do you wrap up a three film series? Anything lighter would take away from it. Gripping till the very end with a batmobile that flies and has metallic vertebrae, a batpod with a girl in leather riding it, stadiums & bridges being blown to bits, a villain with nothing to lose and a director who needs a standing ovation.

Take a bow, Christopher Nolan.

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