With director Christopher Nolan’s Batman swan song The Dark Knight Rises (bat song?), one can expect a healthy dose of action, tights, and …political commentary?! In his previous bat movie The Dark Knight, Nolan slyly instilled his superhero film with topical themes that dealt with the ethics of surveillance, terrorism, and torture in a War on Terror era. Much like its predecessor, The Dark Knight Rises takes influences from current events to craft a compelling story.
Rises tackles the growing unrest between the elite 1 % and the general public as a result of the lopsided economic inequality. When mercenary Bane takes over Gotham, he taps into the city’s economic unrest and beckons citizens to take back their city from the rich. When delivering his speech, the scene is framed as if Bane is talking directly to the camera. We are his audience, his angry majority. Immediately, a social revolution occurs as the majority revolt and jail the wealthy.
“You’re going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us,” utters Catwoman as if she was a member of Occupy Wall Street. Did Nolan intend for these parallels? Maybe, maybe not…but as a result, he had audience members engaged in political dialogues just from watching a simple superhero movie.