Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sensitive to Rage

With Emma's encouragement for a date night, Brad and I went to see the Dark Knight Rises.  Even though Brad had already seen it, he was game to see it again, and after hearing the interview on NPR with director Christopher Nolan, I was intrigued.  It was number one on my summer movie list.   From that interview, I learned that the trilogy would be coming to an end which signaled a conclusion to a classic super-hero story.  A story I grew up with, and one I could reference.  Nolan characterized the movie as a heightened "opera" of a sort, and at the time, I didn't interpret that to mean the excitement one finds in visual violence.

I should have known better.  I should have known myself better, to be exact.  Me who rarely watched television growing up.  Me leaving home at 18 and voluntarily killing my television for 15 years.  Me who was so sensitive to action on the screen - action like Dukes of Hazard action, that my dreams were memorable afterwards.   I should not have gone, and then I would not have had to walk out.

Driving away from the theater, all I really wanted was to smoke a cigarette.  I don't even smoke.  And it took some inner gumption to resist asking Brad to just take me to the Hookah lounge.  Damn.  I really wanted a smoke.  Damn.  I really wanted to like the movie!

But the long awaited blockbuster presented such a bleak world view that my initial reaction was that it was not a bit redemptive.   Others I know and reviewers I've read all used the word "redemptive" when describing the movie.  And perhaps that is why I was initially drawn to it.  It's a fascinating way to view movies through those lens.  But the redemptive qualities of the movie or the  characters in it, were not at all like my favorite redemptive movies: "The Spitfire Grill," and "Dead Man Walking."  And I know those are very different movies altoghter, so it's hardly worth comparing.  But I admit that initially I had trouble understanding The Dark Knight Rises through those lens. 

While I agree that Batman is not a redemptive story for Batman himself, or for the psychopathic Bane, I've heard and read there is a strong message of redemption during the movie.  Had I stayed for the entire movie, I might have gotten something more from it.  But as it was, the rage, gore, noise, sadistic  chaos was too much, and too close to the truth of whole communities and people worldwide. 

What I remember from the comic books and cartoons is that Batman was always a story about morality.  That, the good strive to do better even against hopeless odds, and there are complexities in all of us that make us want to do good in the world.  For me though, I'm good with the story on paper without visual effects and the reminders that there are real people who purge their rage on whole cities.

In the end, it made me happy to be on a date with Brad, and as always, he was a fine sport about succumbing to my needs as we walked out of the movie before the resolution.   And as always, spontaneous time together is just plain fun! 

1 comment:

  1. Vera, I completely agree with you! I watched "the Dark Knight" at an IMAX theater and had nightmares for a week. The series is way too dark for me and it was the story and glorification of a sociopath. I have no interest in seeing the next in the series.