• Gabrielle Hendricks

"The Batman" Takes Flight

This year’s superhero blockbuster, “The Batman”, is a movie that will go down in DC cinematic history. Despite being action packed, it veers away from the typical superhero narrative of a strong, completely admirable hero. It is dark, complex and intertwines with reality.

“The Batman” features the versatile actors, Robert Pattinson as Batman and Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman. Other notable actors are featured in the film such as the renowned Andy Serkis and Jefferey Wright. The cast’s notability is not what makes the acting great but the chemistry between cast members and personal elements added to their characters elevates the film.

Pattison is unlike the traditional Batman the public is used to. He is not the buffest man, and his Batman was not as sure of himself compared to previous depictions of Batman. Many were concerned about Pattison’s stature and “emo” persona he usually brings to the screen regarding him playing Batman. However, the actor's unique thin frame and personality worked in his favor in the film and brought a fresh interpretation to not only Batman the hero but also Bruce Wayne, the man behind the mask. The film focuses on Wayne’s internal struggle as a man dealing with the childhood trauma of his parents dying and wanting to take revenge on criminals in Gotham city.

In the film, when people ask Wayne who he is when he is disguised as Batman, he introduces himself as “Vengeance” and not Batman. This tells the audience that Wayne does not see himself as a hero but as a vigilante. He fights crime as a way of fighting his inner demons; in fighting Gotham’s criminals, he fights his past.

This depiction of Wayne is likened to a teenager who is trying to find himself and acts on emotions and not logic. This ‘teenager’ needs to grow and learn that life is not black and white and bring peace to his inner child. Pattison’s thin frame, long greasy hair, pale skin and eyeliner helps display the angsty teen vibe of Wayne’s physical appearance. The audience can visibly see a grown man with juvenile characteristics rather than simply be told the information. This is an elevated way of storytelling and shows how deep and intentional the casting of Pattison is for the film. Pattison is not the perfect Batman, but he is the perfect Bruce Wayne, who is the center focus of the film.

The film not only had elevated character tropes, but it also had a complex, interesting plotline. Much of the film was centered around the political sphere and the dirt within it. On the surface, the Riddler is the villain of the story. However, the true villains are revealed to be uber rich politicians and public servants such as police officials. The Riddler is a victim of the system like Batman and Catwoman.

Despite this, the film gives the message of choosing your own path and becoming better than the evil people controlling the system. Retributive justice (vengeance) is not true justice; upholding virtue is justice. The film also showed that there are good people in bad systems (political offices, the police department, etc.), exhibiting the concept that those systems are versatile because people are versatile. Giving the film real evils and not absurd, mystical ones while still having incredible fight scenes and beyond powerful characters brings a simultaneous relatability and excitement to “The Batman”.

The film overall is a great watch for any audience. It is mysterious, real and adrenaline fueled. It is an Oscar-worthy film.