July 30, 2012

Heroes Rise

4 years ago, I said The Dark Knight was the best superhero movie ever.  I lied.   The Dark Knight Rises is.  It is another work of genius from Christopher Nolan.  And it will be up there in the list of all-time best films; it seems inaccurate to lump it with other comic book adaptations.  The final installment of Nolan's trilogy deals with revenge, loyalty, class warfare, revolution, and of course, heroism.  The result is sublime.

After the events of the last movie, the Batman goes into exile.  He is forced out of retirement by the brutal Bane (Tom Hardy), hellbent on a dystopic Gotham City.  Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman reprise their roles as Commissioner Gordon, Alfred and Lucius Fox, respectively.  I was entertained and moved by Anne Hathaway's performance as a conflicted Selina/Catwoman.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a pivotal role as a young police officer named Blake.  And to make it an almost Inception reunion, Marion Cotillard is investor Miranda Tate. Cameos made me squeal silently in delight.     

But mostly, I wept.  I wept for Aurora.  The shoot-em-up scenes were jarring. I imagined the fear, panic, and chaos in the theater that fateful night.  I feel the grief of the loved ones they left behind; the confusion, anger, pain of those who survived.
And although they made the film in Pittsburgh,  New York City bridges doubled as Gotham's.  They are of course destroyed, inexplicably bringing up memories of 911.  So I wept for New York.  I wept for faithful Alfred.  But mostly I wept for the victims of the Colorado tragedy.

But there is hope.  We heard of the men who died protecting their wives or girlfriends.  Strangers who helped save their fellow moviegoers.  People (including Warner Bros.) donating money to the victims and their families.  The hospitals waiving fees for the treatment of the wounded.  Deepak Chopra was asked how we could make sense of this senseless crime.  He said we should  counter that random act of violence with random acts of kindness.  You can make a donation to Giving First.  

As one character says in the film, "A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy's shoulders to let him know that the world hadn't ended."


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