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Christopher Nolan - Director David Goyer, Christopher Nolan - Screenwriters)

Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Larry Franco - Producers

Ben Melniker, Michael Uslan - Executive Producers

Wally Pfister - Director of Photography)

Nathan Crowley - Production Designer)

Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard - Musical Score)

 

 

main actors

 

Bruce Wayne/"Batman - Christian Bale 

Alfred - Michael Caine

Rachel - Katie Holmes

Henri Ducard - Liam Neeson

Lucius Fox - Morgan Freeman

Jonathan Crane/"The Scarecrow - Cillian Murphy

R'as al Ghul - Ken Watanabe

Jim Gordon Gary Oldman 

Earle - Rutger Hauer

Carmine Falcone - Tom Wilkinson 

 


BATMAN BEGINS       www.batmanbegins.ch  home     www.batmanbegins.com 

Warner Bros. Pictures 2005. All rights reserved. Illustrative stuff and official dialogue sample are property of Warner Bros.

based upon the Batman character owned by DC Comics, created by Bob Kane.

In theatres in Switzerland on 15th June F-CH, 16th June D-CH, 17th  June I-CH


 

preview-review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

 


 

A  SYMBOL  IS  INCORRUPTIBLE,  EVERLASTING

 

The enthusiasm of a fan

Screenwriter and huge Batman fan David Goyer describes  its experience working on "Batman begins" with these words: " On one hand I was a professional, meeting with Chris Nolan and Warner Bros. and DC Comics, but on the other hand I was just this fan, this geek, this kid that read comic books when I was growing up. I kept on oscillating back and forth between the two because this really is my dream project" . And you can bet that he is  absolutely sincere.  In fact one  of the best qualities of this  movie is the enthusiasm, you can see that it is a movie conceived and  written  with the enthusiasm of a fan , with a kind of joy which is anyway quite well down-earthed.  And this is also why "Batman begins" shouldn't be actually compared with the previous Batman versions. Though we have to do with  one of the most known and important comic character, "Batman begins"  too is really modern and tries to be very far  from the usual scheme of a comic-on -screen  film, being this way  nearer to the Blade series or Constantine than to its various Batman predecessors. Even the mask of Batman, its costume in itself, seems reasonable, scientific, more the product of a sophisticated but possible technology (like the movie  indeed explains ) more than a fantastic design. In few words the film is enjoyable, full of situations and action, with  spectacular effects and moments of delightful photography ( photography must have a particular mention in my opinion), and above all, can be appreciated also  by the most cynics among  you. Yes there is some exaggeration, in particular when the big metropolis Gotham City is under the attacks of destruction and  in full panic, nonetheless the biggest  part of the plot is kept after all plausible , while the most apocalyptic sequences are anyway involving. 

 

Sorry but i have a city to destroy

The story is almost completely new, as Goyer says "The great thing about this story is that it's never been told before, even in the comic books. The closest that the comic books have come is a story called Batman Year One, which is set after Bruce Wayne's returned to Gotham City. But there's a gap of at least seven years after he disappears from Gotham, and they just never told that story. So this was a way of doing something new" . And the story is quite enthralling , no one will be disappointed by it: Bruce Wayne's inner  "transformation" and his new consciousness is perfectly reported and explained through many key moments of his life, starting  when he was a child and going on until he gets solidly in his hands his father's business empire and his father's ideals as winner. The little child who plays in the garden of his parents' manor falls down in  an abandoned well . There  he will face and realize his biggest fear.  Child Bruce will be  shocked then by his parents' violent death, killed so banally in the streets of a gigantic Gotham city, where much criminality and extreme poverty walks under the forest of beautiful colossal skyscrapers. It seems without any doubt a futuristic New York, and the little Bruce Wayne seems a poor  chick blaming himself for what happened. Though  his father last words were a recommendation to have no fear, they don't cheer up Bruce. Grown up , Bruce (Christian Bale =Empire of the Sun - The Portrait of a Lady) still  has  his fears, loves justice and is an idealist in memory of his parents. In order to take  vengeance one day, and even more, in order to understand himself, he will travel away , he will pass through hard experiences until he will meet the mysterious Ra's al Ghul's League of Shadows with ninja master  Ra's Al-Ghul (Ken Watanabe = The last Samurai) and his right-hand man, the equally mysterious (Henri) Ducard. (Liam Neeson = Schindler's List = The Haunting =Star Wars Episode I)  In a typical far and mystical Himalayan ambience, Bruce Wayne  will be instructed and trained by Henri Ducard.  Bruce will go deeper into  martial arts and into psychological  and physical self-control. He will face again his biggest fear that takes the bat shape: bats, his eternal enemies/friends. 

 

 

 

 

 

The league, as well as Bruce, wants to fight criminality but the methods are different. The league is extreme, would like to shape and purify  the world maintaining an improbable and subjective balance. Liam Neeson says: " Duncan reminds me a bit of Ignatius of Loyola, who grounded the order of the Jesuits".   When Bruce understands that Ra's al Ghul is none but an executioner  and the League is none but a  self -justice organization of terrorism menacing Gotham City, his fight  begins, having Bruce anyway still a sympathy and a helping hand for his mentor Ducard. Coming back to  Gotham City, Bruce finds the Wayne Enterprises under the control of  Chief manager Richard Earle (Rutger Hauer = Blade Runner = The Hitcher = Ladyhawke = Blind Fury = Surviving the Game) more attentive to  cold investments than to idealisms, and finds a city in trouble, under tons of corruption and criminality.  His little friend Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes =The Ice Storm = Disturbing Behaviour) from the childhood-time, is now a very engaged woman , working as assistant district attorney . Bruce Wayne nonetheless is rich and no longer naive, he feels that something must be done, and with the help of family's  fantastic and faithful butler and his ex-tutor Alfred  Pennyworth (Michael Caine =The quiet American = Miss Congeniality = Last Orders)) , he will create his alter ego. A symbol. A symbol must be created, cause a symbol is everlasting and incorruptible. A hero figure that hides in the dark, taking the same shape of the "enemies", who this way  will "share" with Bruce the same burden. 

 

 

Moreover Bruce finds  also more loyal friends in  Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman =Million Dollar Baby = Deep Impact= High Crimes), Wayne Industries employee, and in detective  Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman = The fifth Element = Air Force One = Lost in Space ), one of the very few honest cops in town. 

Bruce asks to work in the Wayne enterprises in the division for applied sciences where he will find Lucius Fox, a real wizard in  technologies. From there Batman's  run towards an array of  sophisticated but realistic hi-tech objects begins. There, with  Lucius's help,  he will get his batmobile and his costume in kevlar, his "wings" and gadgets. 

 

In this  poor Gotham City, that Bruce wants to save, Bruce/Batman begins his action against the villains that work for Ra's al Ghul, who should be actually dead? who is the true villain? which enemy must  Bruce face?

The fight in order to save the city under the menace of a  terrible toxin unleashing panic and phobias does escalate until the final confrontation. And escalation will be another general problem for the future, as detective Jim Gordon  tells Batman himself. The more Batman will use new technologies and techniques, the more his enemies will adopt the same technologies and acting. Promptly, after having won and having saved the city, Batman is awaited by a new villain. Joker's shadow is surfacing.  

 

 

Actors and spelunking. I got a new job, yours!

All actors are totally suitable and perfect in their role, Christian Bale too, though i would have  gladly seen Tom Cruise (well, but he is no longer that young) in Bruce Wayne role, but anyway  the double existence is underlined  well by Bale:  we have a Bruce that seems sometimes superficial and vain to the world , and we have a Batman who is able to become quite scary and even a bit demonic. 

 

 

Dialogues and rhythm are brilliant, there are some phrases that are absolutely enjoyable. The tension is broken  in the right moment with  something funny, for example the dialogues between butler Alfred and Bruce, or between Bruce and Lucius Fox. That spelunking  or base jumping phrases between Bruce and Lucius are memorable, or that "i got a new job. yours!" which  Lucius/Freeman says  to an astonished Richard Earle. By the way spelunking, nothing is missed; of course we see how the bat cave will be transformed and why in that place. I like very much Katie Holmes cause she is not an  impossible  beauty miss universe, but a normal natural woman, like most women are, and therefore so credible and pretty. 

 

 

 

The elastic figure of a personal messiah

This film  sends a message of faithfulness, loyalty, idealism without being cheesy, or, at least, without being too cheesy, and is focused on the central theme: Fear. But if you scratch the surface, in my opinion , the message is another: It is not only the suggestion to know our fears and to defeat them, it is even not the eternal question whether  revenge can be  justifiable.  Justice and revenge  are so near but they are not the same thing.  However more important is  the almost messianic figure of a savior that suddenly appears and intercedes for mankind. The determination of Ra's al Ghul seems the biblic God's wrath. Gotham city (which  imo symbolizes mankind) must be destroyed like a Gomorra, but the elastic figure of a "personal jesus" saves mankind as well as towns,  quarters and single persons. Batman like a messianic hope, the savior who acts yet doesn't want to sentence to death.

 

 

 

The best way to propose Batman to today's audience

Christopher Nolan's "Batman begins" shows  aspects of big action, comedy and adventure. It is enough  realistic and monumental at the same time.  Production designer Nathan Crowley  underlines that this movie is plentiful of miniature models  as well as original true places  and this all has nothing to do with computer effects, cause nothing can be better than reality, though helped by visual effects. If you are a fanatic of Batman and major spectacular movies this is the film and the plot for you; and for those who are not so Batman -devotees yet want to live an enjoyable action -story mixed with  fantasy and some dark taste, will find  Batman begins agreeable. Again another movie which i started to attend with a certain skepticism , but that , at the end , conquered enough my sympathies. It is a blockbuster and the best way to propose Batman to today's audience. And then ....please...Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson are simply delicious. 

 

dalia di giacomo


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