Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So, this weekend, I finally saw Batman Begins and Dark Knight

I know! I know!! I should have seen it already... but I had been dreading Dark Knight for so long (4 years to be exact). But I decided a while ago that I wanted to see Dark Knight Rises--and that meant facing the darkness. 

And while [for various reasons I won't go into now] there were parts I really didn't appreciate, I loved. the. ending.

"I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be."

Woooooow!!! Watching this movie reminded me a lot of Sherlock, especially the Reichenbach Fall. I had heard people compare Moriarty to the Joker before (but, seriously, he's way more likeable... and better to look at ;)


But tonight I was struck with the similarities between Batman and Sherlock Holmes. Both want to stop evil, but both are faced with horrifying choice. And both respond with incredible self sacrifice. 

I didn't get to write my reaction to Reichenbach right after its airing, but I can now (and, surprisingly, Batman recalled some similar feelings for me). As a student of art and of literature, I've wrestled for years with trying to understand what God calls beautiful and how he defines a hero. And I don't have the answer to that question.

But I know that self-sacrifice is beautiful.

These two dark, canonical figures remind me of so many Biblical heroes--with their flaws, their egos, their sin. But they also remind me of Christ because they'd put reputation, priorities, their very lives on the line for people they loved even more than themselves.

I cried like a baby at the end of Reichenbach not only because it was heart-wrenching portrayal of how much Sherlock truly loved John, but because it was just a small representation of the fall Christ took for each of us. After the disciples mourned for 3 days, as John mourned for 3 years, the finality of death was shaken and the Hero returned... but only after the greatest display of love.

I don't mean to over-spiritualize things, but, the way I see it, God is the original author and any truly good work mirrors His in some way. Death and resurrection is common enough in literature, but I have been deeply moved by these film adaptations' as a type of Christ's love for His Bride and His people.

For now, though, noticing all of the similarities, I think Sherlock is my Dark Knight =)

update 7.19.12 - 

[Worlds collide at London premiere of the Dark Knight Rises 7.18.12]


  1. Just watched Batman Begins last night for the first time... hesitating about watching The Dark Knight, but I do want to see the conclusion. I too have been avoiding TDK since it came out (and all the interns went to see it!). What are your thoughts on this middle film?

  2. Well, this post was my response to Dark Knight haha... but in general, I think Nolan is amazing. As everyone has said, Heath Ledger did do an incredible job--I just don't think it was worth his life. And I should add that Nolan is extremely good with not being gory... his is an intelectual frightening. But he raises several valuable questions about hope, the human condition, and the meaning of a hero--and those things I appreciated.

  3. One of my very favorite scenes related to hope and the human condition was the one where both the boat with the citizens and the criminals put down the remote controls. It was just beautiful, especially considering how the Joker spends the entire movie trying to tell Batman that humans are essentially evil/chaotic beings, to see both parties independently show a sense of goodness :)