Beneath “The Dark Knight Rises”

WARNING: This post contains spoilers. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you really should. And prayers to all those affected by the Aurora shootings.

At points during “The Dark Knight Rises,” I found myself nodding my head in satisfaction or pumping my fist out of awesomeness. I’m not sure if everyone caught on.

I’ve been struggling with my demons the past few days, so I couldn’t see this movie for purely entertainment purposes. There had to be a lesson somewhere. Depending on how you viewed it, there are probably several.

Earlier this year, I wrote about my awful beginning to 2012. I don’t regret writing it at the time because I felt creatively inclined to inspire people to overcome issues no matter how severe. But, in all honesty, life isn’t much better. I choose not to overstay my welcome by sharing the multitude of setbacks I’ve had since then, but I have joked about how comical the constant string of adversities is. But it’s my fault it keeps coming because somewhere, I lost my way.

“What are they saying?”

Bruce Wayne endured possibly the worst psychological and physical beating I have ever seen on screen. At times, the film was hard to watch. But, as Alfred pointed out, this is what Bruce asked for.

Emotionally and physically scarred from “The Dark Knight,” Bruce ditched the cape and social life for eight years while gaining nothing out of it. He was stuck in the past, fighting against events he couldn’t have changed (Rachel’s and Harvey’s deaths). At this point, he was without loved ones and without purpose.

When he finally found a reason to don the Bat-suit again, something was off. He wasn’t dealing with the whole Bane situation the “Batman” way. He acted on impulse and stormed into Bane’s lair thinking that he could go one-on-one and emerge victorious. He was not (I’m intentionally leaving out several details here). As mentioned earlier in the film, he cared nothing of the consequences and seemed to embrace death. But that fate would be too kind as Gotham’s hero was reduced to a mere shell of a man.

The key scene in this movie, for me, was the pit. Bruce Wayne had a couple of unsuccessful trips climbing up the wall, unaffected by the potential for injury or even death. Until this point, as both Batman and Wayne, he accepted all the garbage thrown at him, dealing with it but not truly overcoming it. His damaged psyche, ever since the second half of TDK, has seemed to enjoy wallowing in self pity. Then he remembered The Quote from “Batman Begins”: “And why do we fall, Bruce?”

They didn’t replay the second half of Thomas Wayne’s inspirational speech to a young Bruce but, if you don’t remember, it’s, “So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” That doesn’t mean stay on the ground and pout about your injuries or sit and laugh about the humor of it all. It means that with our power and resiliency as human beings, we can better any situation with the simple choice of standing above it. Rising, if you will.

And in a glorious scene, Bruce ditched the rope and escaped the hole because he chose to overcome death. And with one heroic act after another, Bruce Wayne finally found what we assume could be called happiness. Reminds me of this legendary clip:

I’m happy, but I’m not. I have basically been taunting fate by joking about my so-called misery and accepting these misfortunes as excuses for why I limit myself. I have been giving up and merely tolerating nonsense. What I said I would to do in January has so far been a failure.

At some point, you have to stop dealing with the bullsh*t and climb out of the hole.

One thought on “Beneath “The Dark Knight Rises”

  1. Interesting take on the film, I appreciate the personal touches. I’m glad that you appreciated the callback to Batman Begins, that quote has come into my mind in a lot of difficult times in my life and it’s good to hear someone else recognizing it.

    Anyways I hope the second half of 2012 is a bit easier on you, and I look forward to reading more. If you’re interested feel free to check out my review of the film, I’d love to hear any feedback you have 🙂 Cheers,

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