Samuelpoet -> RE: Batman Begins (20/3/2006 11:21:54 AM)
BATMAN BEGINS (2005) Director Christopher Nolan
Just when the movie world thought that a particular comic book / film franchise was over and done with, pre summer 2005 brought alot of mixed feelings from the movie going public in relation to the long awaited Batman movie. Originally hyped as BATMAN : INTIMIDATION GAME, hence all the mixed and purposely built miss-leading stories in the press, director Christopher Nolan revived the Dark Knight in what I believe to be the best BATMAN movie to date. BATMAN BEGINS.
This movie tackles and portrays Bruce Wayne / BATMAN from an angle previously unseen from other Batman movies. Alot of BATMAN fans would argue the fact that that Tim Burtons BATMAN in 1989 would be the all time classic, which is fair enough. To me back then as a child in my mid teens all I and any other kid would want to see was The BATMAN kick THE JOKER's ass fair and square, but nevertheless at that time you don't realise or notice how incorrect the film was to the comic books. Firstly Burtons BATMAN was mainly focused on THE JOKER and may as well have been called JOKER. We got little insight into the origin of BATMAN in that movie and main emphasis was on the JOKER's character. Secondly the little focus built around the origin of BATMAN was incorrect. The death of Bruce Waynes parents was not originally executioned by Jack Napier / Joker in the comic books and in all thats right in the world of Gotham City and The Dark Knight, BATMAN BEGINS corrects all of that and Nolan gives us his most loyal vision / intereratation of The BATMAN, exactly the way it should be.
With no set time scale we see BATMAN BEGINS delve into the origin of BATMAN, hence the title of the movie itself. Christian Bale I think was a fine choice to explore and play the role of Bruce Wayne.
Bale brought the realism of Waynes own personal torment from the pages of Bob Kanes creation back in 1939 to a more contemorary audience with great success. The reason I believe that this was a success all round, is simply because Christopher Nolan and David S Goyer with the help of Alan Moores Dark Knight format, brought to life a character that we know as not only BATMAN fans but also as something that we can all relate to on a personal level as individuals. There without doubt will be an element of Bruce Waynes, turmoil, grief, self hate, anger, guilt, acts of revenge and misery that we can all relate too at one point in our lives. The dialogue involved quotes that personally rang true to me, and I must admit accompanied with the underscore composed by Hans Zimmer, some of the dialogue sent a shiver down my spine or set a lump in my throat...
"Why do we fall Bruce? So that we learn to pick ourselves up!"
The direction of Christopher Nolan's BATMAN BEGINS was episodic, it gave a mixture of past and present with great remenissence of Wayne's character, it gave no impression of a timeline though occasionally it did give references to The Great Deppression, so it is possible that it was set twenty to thirty years after. What was also appealing was the setting of Gotham City, one point it looked slightly futuristic, then rightfully Gothic and then dark and gritty as it should be.Nolan also wasn't afraid to mix the status transactions with this movie either. For example, billionaire Thomas Wayne helped build the metro system in the city, which is used by differant classes of people, I found it fitting that he was using it also on the way for a family night out at the theatre.
As soon as the story starts, we know where we're heading with the characters, but what we don't know is how believable it's gonna be and in all honesty all that rests with the actors. Alot of which shall I add involves alot of British actors... Micheal Caine played a great role as loyal butler and close friend Alfred Pennyworth.
Garry Oldman gave us a taster as a young Sgt Jim Gordon. Tom Wilkinson as gang lord Falcone', Liam Neeson as Ducard both portrayed with great villainy. Not to mention the great Cillian Murphy who came across disturbing in the discretest way possible as Doctor Jonathan Crane A.K.A The Scarecrow.
But of cousre there was Morgan Freeman, Ken Wantanbe, Rutger Hauer, Katie Holmes and last but not least the main man himself...
Throughout Bale's journey as Bruce Wayne, we see moments of remenissence, sentimentality, a playboy image, charm and wit. Most of which could easily fall into the characteristics of James Bond, to which I'm suprised he wasn't chosen for that role too. Bale would have been perfect.
Bale also brings diverse levels throughout BEGINS, sometimes we witness the pain and heart felt anguish that is Wayne, then to break the mood we have the guardian bond between him and Micheal Caine and also Bale and Morgan Freeman. Possibly enhaced to substitute that of a father figure. The mix of mood throughout is even more appealing. The sense of gadgetry was a little Bondesque, but on this level Christopher Nolan gave each aspect a hint of realism.
It's approximately about 45 minutes before we see any hint of BATMAN in this movie, we see the completely amateur skills of the Dark Knight masked in a balaclava, but when all is complete he looks like this.
But even as BATMAN first comes to light on the big screen, we have a very minimal point of view of what the masked crusader looks like. As well as the underscore, Nolan's direction draws us the audience in to the reality and the fear that the criminals of the underworld face. To start, we only see what they see. Which is darkness surrounding the huge cargo containers, we witness their mis co-ordination of gun fire, quick glimpses of BATMAN, but not entirely. This from a fans point of view is what we want, we need to experience the gradual formation of BATMAN as if it were happening now. No one knows who he is or what he looks like and I believe the cargo scene with Falcone' in the car was Nolans way to give us a discreet revelation of what the rest of the rest of the criminal underworld / society were going to succomb to.
To me, the whole movie didn't seem too cartoony, it wasn't WEST, KEATON, KILMER or CLOONEY. They were too unreal for my liking, too cartoony, which to a degree you want, but you've got to make it real as well... And to me, in my opinion, thats what Nolan did.
He made it real, he gave his own analysis of the BATMAN, his own interperatation of how things have been and are going to be in Gotham. He's paved the way for a chain of potentially successful movies. He's delved into differant society's in Gotham, from the upperclass businessman to the low and unworthy, from the evil's of gangland cruelty to the sadistic murderers and rapists of ARKHAM. He even slotted in a hint of romance, and even more so it still does appeal to kids, theres ahint of that in the movie, when he hands a contraption to a young boy on a balcony, because the youngster said, his friends would never believe him, and despite him thinking at the start of the movie he wasn't a good person, Wayne as BATMAN naturally hands over the object to the kid, which proves a point, as scary as he looks to the evil of society, he has the honest and good intentions of a respectful hero.
There is alot to play with here if used correctly and in a similar manner as BEGINS, The SCARECROW could make a return, which I believe is another character to delve into and plus there is the hint of THE JOKER at the end of BATMAN BEGINS when Gary Oldman gives his fantastic speech... which left the entire movie on a positive high and a feel good feeling inside the soul. FANTASTIC!
FAVE SCENE: When BATMAN goes into ARKHAM to save Rachel Dawes and fights THE SCARECROW. The whole sequence to the drum beat underscore, is just dark and gritty and sends a thrill through the veins. Pure heroic and pure Nolan genius!
FAVE QUOTE: "It's not who we are deep down, it's what we do that defines us..."