Christopher Nolan is a conundrum. A filmmaker that starts on alternative cinema and then successfully makes the transition to mainstream, without losing either sight or focus, is a very rare event. And that is why backlash was already palpable two films ago, with the second installment of the reinvented Batman saga. The Dark Knight deconstructed everything about the comic-adaptation genre and built something that will stand for the ages as the way of doing action without abdication of the intellect. It stood as one of the bleakest and most poignant films to come out of American cinema, independent or not, and it raised the bar immeasurably for the last chapter of the trilogy. As a surprise to many, The Dark Knight Rises does not falter and delves deeper into the myth of the unwilling hero that sacrifices himself and everything he represents for the sake of order above chaos. The idea of an immortal symbol being more powerful than a mortal individual is quite meaningful, especially when the mask abolishes the man behind it. Nolan becomes even more political as he depicts a false uprising of the people of Gotham under the banner of a blind revolution. The siege of Gotham is truly frightening and an enhanced version, almost a metaphorical alarm call, of what the world can expect as hope becomes nothing but a distant light in the midst of a reign of chaos. And that is why Tom Hardy’s Bane is such an effective villain as he feeds from despair and the last remainders of human perseverance and transforms them into the most powerful of weapons, managing to exert his apocalypse under the wing of liberation. The Dark Knight Rises is not without flaws though and through the end some incongruences appear as the plot comes to an end and some (unnecessary) twists are unveiled, attenuating the true nature of the beast. It does once again triumph in deconstructing the character of Bruce Wayne, even more broken and powerless. But how he rises again towards salvation is as inspiring as ever and Nolan manages to intellectually stimulate and disturb audiences under the bane of entertainment. And that is truly remarkable.
PS: Whoever doubted Anne Hathaway will be ravished by how perfect, unique and deliciously disruptive she is as Catwoman, who along with the ever surprising Joseph Gordon-Levitt, are most-welcome additions to the superb cast.