Pop Culture – The Dark Night Rises: is it Action Movie or Social Treatise?

The Dark Knight has Risen! Blessed be the reborn hero!

In so many ways, and taking great pains to not commit the Sin of Spoiling, The Dark Knight Rises is about redemption and sacrifice and rebirth. It is about offering up everything one has for his/her beliefs, and living outward not inward.

But it is not a religious film; it is political. Christopher Nolan has used his considerable skills to create the ultimate hybrid; the thoughtful blockbuster, the super-hero societal essay, the reflective popcorn movie. Amid the breathtaking set pieces, the thrilling weapons and Batcycles and Batplanes, the exceptional fight sequences, is Nolan calling for social revolution? Is this gifted director suggesting we can no longer support the authority, that they’ve grown too corrupt and greedy to exist? It is possible to view the film in this way.

And if we do, what does Christian Bale’s performance represent? Yes, his story arc follows the classic Heroe’s Journey structure. We see him physically broken and rebuilt, spiritually renewed, and even emotionally released, but as what? Super-hero or social liberator? Rescuer or revolutionary?

If the classic American hero faces the villains alone at high noon in the center of town, and if the modern equivalent is the dark avenger of the night, then The Dark Knight Rises presents us with a new paradigm to consider: hero as Savior and Unifier of American Society.

And that is something worth considering between handfuls of popcorn…

Christopher Ryan is author of City of Woe, available on Kindle and Nook, and in print. For more info, click here.

 

 

About chrisryanwrites

My name is Christopher Ryan. I am a former award-winning journalist turned high school teacher, and I have written since reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS when I was in elementary school. I have independently published an award-winning debut novel, CITY OF WOE, plus the prequel short story collection CITY OF SIN, the sequel novel CITY OF PAIN, a high school thriller novel GENIUS HIGH, and several high adventure novelettes for the Rapid Reads series featuring Alex Simmons' African-American adventurer BLACKJACK All are available via amazon.com, as is my children's book, THE FERGUSON FILES - THE MYSTERY SPOT. Additionally, I was nominated for a supporting actor award for my work in the multiple award-winning independent film, CLANDESTINE, from Feenix Films. I blog about writing, life, pop culture, the journey of learning to promote my independently published work, my efforts to secure a traditional publishing contract, and my career as a teacher.
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