Rising from the Darkness
By: Daniela Delvescovo
Movie Review of
The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway
"You see only one end to your journey.
Sometimes, a man rises from the darkness."
It is finally here, The Dark Knight Rises, and with it comes a breath-taking film that is the perfect ending to an already wonderful series. It has many twists and turns, leading to an ending that no one would ever expect.
This film is rated PG-13, mostly for violence. It may be scary for younger children, but pre-teens are likely to enjoy it with the proper parental guidance. I would also not recommend this film for anyone who hasn't seen the first two installments of the series, because you will not to be able to connect with it on the same emotional depth as others who have already seen them.
Eight years after his surprising fall from grace in The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) is not exactly back. He is holed away in his mansion, believing neither he nor Batman are still needed by the public. Bruce is in for a rude awakening though, when master thief Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman, (played by Anne Hathaway) breaks into his home to steal his mother's diamonds and copies of his fingerprints.
Catwoman is not the real threat, though. Soon the real villain makes his appearance: Bane (played by Tom Hardy). Bane has set out to destroy not only The Batman, but also the entire city of Gotham.
Bane forces Batman out of retirement, but not before The Batman gains two new allies: John Blake (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Catwoman herself.
The level of depth Nolan gives to each character in this movie is at the heart of its magic. Even the supporting characters have layers that need to be pulled back in order to see their true intentions, including the bad guys: No one is just evil to be evil.
This brings a sense of reality to the film that is seen in everyday life. People often appear one way, but in reality have a completely different persona. For instance, Catwoman, I mean she is a cold and heartless jewel thief, right? Wrong. She was born into extreme poverty and stole to survive, taking from the rich who already had more money than they knew what to do with. The only reason she is still stealing is to get a program that will completely erase her identity so she can start a new life, an honest one where she does not have to be a criminal.
Of course, Catwoman's back-story does not excuse her actions, but it helps us understand how she is not "evil", just lost. In everyday life, we see people just like Catwoman: criminals, atheists, and even the Homeless who are sometimes thought of as scary. At times, we tend to judge these people based on their labels without knowing their stories.
We as Christians tend to do this especially, not because we are proud, or high-and-mighty, but because we want to help and we want to change people for the better. Sometimes we tend to judge or condemn people for their sins, instead of trying to understand why they committed the sin in the first place.
At the very essence, all people are good. The Devil's temptations are what make people evil; no one is born this way. God does not ask us to condemn non-Christians or sinners; he asks us to forgive them and show them how God's light can heal them.
"To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them."
-St. Thomas Aquinas
This world can be cruel - the Devil makes sure of that - and this cruelty can shape people for either better or worse. To save these lost souls, we cannot condemn them. To heal these people we must bring then back to Christ, not shut them out. We must forgive them and be an example of what a life with Christ is like; we must be beacon of Christ's light for the world.
Questions for youth groups, families, and other small group discussions (please feel free to post comments below):
- Why do we judge people?
- Why do we sometimes tend to shut out sinners rather than welcome them warmly?
- What is one way we can be a beacon of Christ's light in the world for these people?
- What does it mean to take someone by the hand and guide them to Christ?