ISLAMABAD: After premiers in Karachi and Lahore, a selection of Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s citizenry saw firsthand the conclusion to Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
The Dark Knight rose at Cinepax in Rawalpindi, in a “black carpet premier” backed by Mountain Dew and arranged by Verve Event Management. While the cinema’s exterior would not suggest anything out of the ordinary, once guests moved inside the multiplex, it seemed as if they had left Jinnah Park and walked into a scene out of Nolan’s version of a Gotham City social affair, complete with a film-noir style set up and Batman doing the rounds.
After exchanging their Batarang-styled invites for tickets at the counter, guests chatted and got their popcorn and drinks before walking in to the cinema for the final chapter in the trilogy.
Considering that the previous Nolan-Batman film, The Dark Knight, is widely considered to be among the best superhero movies ever, DKR had an uphill task matching the movie, especially the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. This time around, the main villain is Bane, a brilliant criminal mastermind dependent on performance-enhancing drugs that keep him alive while giving him super strength.
Tom Hardy’s performance, especially when compared to the intellectually-offensive Bane that appeared in 1997’s horrible Batman and Robin movie, was nothing short of brilliant. Like Ledger’s Joker,
Hardy’s Bane is bound to become one of the young actor’s most memorable roles, which is no small feat for a man who starred in Warrior and Inception, and is lined up for the upcoming Mad Max movie.
Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, Catwoman to non-Batman fans, was a good anti-hero and the actor did a good job in helping the plot progress, while raising more than a few cat-calls thanks to a kiss she shares and the latex Catwoman outfit.
As for Christian Bale’s Batman, while those critical of his performance in the last two movies would probably keep their opinions unchanged, there is much more depth in his performance this time around, mostly due to the source material of the script, which comic book fans will recognise as the Knightfall story arc from mid-90’s Batman comics.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays John Blake, a character who, although an original creation for the film, seems to be based on Tim Drake, the character that becomes Robin in the Knightfall story arc. Blake’s role in the movie seems a little forced initially, but he develops into one of the key supporting figures as the plot progresses.
The other actors and characters, though relatively minor, all play significant enough roles that writing anything specific about their top-notch performances would mean giving away key plot details.
Incidentally, most of the key story moments can be attributed to the Knightfall story arc, including the eventual ‘sequel’ to this movie, the recently announced Justice League movie, which will feature Bruce Wayne’s successor as the new Batman. A less-than-subtle hint at the actor playing the role is given in the movie.
Zahra Raza of L’atelier was very impressed by the arrangements, though she did feel a little let down by the less heroic and more human portrayal of Batman.
Transpak director Hina Naseer summed up the movie in one word. “Epic.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.
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