The Batman is the latest in the long line of Batman adaptations, directed by Matt Reeves.
The Batman Movie Cast
- Robert Pattinson as The Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Zoë Kravitz as Seline Kyle / Catwoman
- Paul Dano as The Riddler
- Colin Farrell as The Penguin
The Batman Movie Review
Ever since Nolan’s infamous rendition of the masked vigilante, I used to stay awake at night, prowling in the darkness, alone with my thoughts and wondering when I would see a Batman who is as broken and as haunted as my perception of him. Will this version of Batman ever grace the screen, this is the question I kept asking myself, and it remained unanswered with every DC instalment, everyone but, The Batman.
I am honestly perplexed by how often I have been thinking about Robert Pattinson’s Batman, and it has hardly been two days since I left the show. I can’t remember the last “Superhero” movie which made such a coherent and lasting impact on me. But then again, is this a Superhero movie. Is this the kind of movie you leave and feel like, well, that was a great crowdpleaser, formulaic piece of entertainment which won’t have that much rewatchability over the years? Or is it the kind of movie which makes you recognize and appreciate its details even more, after multiple viewing? My opinion is pretty clear and I will spend the rest of this article explaining why The Batman is the best Batman adaptation ever.
The Batman begins on a grim and unsettling note. Ever since the first frame, when we are introduced to The Riddler surveying his Victim’s home, it became undeniably clear that this isn’t going to be one of those flashy, epic Villain intros that we have come to enjoy over the years.
As a matter of fact, it’s anything but epic. With the chilling reveal, the brutal execution and the fluid transition from the suffocating interior of the crime scene, to the wet, abundantly congested outro of Gotham city, we become extremely clear that the city is going to be as much a character as the people themselves.
As someone who has been a proper Batman fan over the years, my perspective of this Vigilante has always been shrouded by secrecy and an unnerving and subtly menacing aura, and the fact that the screenplay symbolizes the Bat-Signal as a beacon of fear to all those who prowl at night and wreck menace was fascinating for me. We get close to the shadows and the constant fear that the masked Vigilante is about to walk into the light becomes more and more intense. It’s almost as if the fear was pulsating through the screen and I had goosebumps even before we actually witnessed the man in talk.
Matt Reeves’s Meticulous Direction of The Batman
Matt Reeves took a Hero and broke him into his infancy. He crumbled the tough hardened exterior of The Batman and brought him down to a level that feels extremely humane and relatable. The scene I described earlier isn’t just a testament to Batman’s aura, but also an indication of his inability of being everywhere.
More than anything, he makes it extremely clear that this Batman, just like all the other people trying to make a difference, is burdened by his incompetency and inabilities. The crime doesn’t stop when the vengeance hunts his criminals and the change that he always hoped to bring, is far from here. When he isn’t the stuff of a nightmare to the population of Gotham, Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne has never gotten over the loss of his parents.
Much different from the play boyish exterior of Bale’s Bruce Wayne, Pattinson’s Wayne doesn’t pretend. His portrayal makes you realize how naked he feels without his mask. Even the smallest of tasks like smiling for Media tests him on levels which can’t be comprehended.
Pattinson excels at making The Batman feel even more terrifying without a mask, and that is the highest praise I can possibly give out to him. Everything about this version of Batman feels so grounded and deep-rooted in Barbaric Brutality, that the weight of every decision and twist becomes more impactful.
The Batman and its Element of Noir
Pattinson’s Batman, even with all its flaws, gets the style and the noir factor dead right. The characteristic Black and Red undertone which transports you to this nihilistic version of a vigilante work so perfectly when you realize that they not only compliment the hero but also the place, the people and the politics. But the raw charisma of the movie becomes apparent when we are introduced to the arsenal of other characters, most importantly The Riddler (Played by Paul Dano) and Catwoman (Played by Zoë Kravitz).
The Riddler’s Menacing aura is a thing to be feared and to be revered even. Having seen Jim Carrey’s take and then Arkham Series’s portrayal of the psychotic villain, what Paul Dano brings to the screen wonderfully is his ability to be naturally unsettling. As someone who has been petrified by his spine-chilling performances in movies like Prisoners, Riddler only lets him open his wings even more. It is clear that he had fun with it, even when he dawned a big, horrendous mask throughout the movie.
Kravitz’s Selina Kyle has a strong, liberal sense of righteousness. A woman who has only been denied basic privileges all her life, her greatest mistake was to be born financially incapable in a city like Gotham. The same can be said about The Riddler and the same can be said about every criminal who bred out of this “cesspool of a city”. But Selina rises to her circumstances in ways that aren’t often morally upright, but certainly not devoid of charm. Her portrayal, while making you feel for her circumstances, also makes you root for her in her moments of impulsiveness.
The romantic arc between her and Bruce did feel rushed even with all their interactions and investigation. Her personal arc and how she herself is deeply intertwined in this chaos. The deeply hard-hitting storyline and her relationship with the actual mayor of Gotham changed the entire mood and vibe of the Batman to something darker and more resonating. And yes, Bruce arguably has the most amount of personal stake in the plot, but Selina’s arc comes from a place which felt eerily close and even more grounded.
The true character of the movie lies in the setting, but my god the long shots in this movie are good. A club fight would take 5 punches before cutting to the next shot where Batman flips a dude with a grappling hook. It’s the little things like those which make this such a worthy experience. How instead of magically memorizing all the details, he now has a lens to record. The riddles feel like riddles, while also taking the trajectory forward.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
There’s an undeniable growth that takes place with all the characters present, but especially Batman. The man who used to induce fear and terrorize the terrorists by branding himself as the Vengeance uncovers how these actions might just have been the driving motivations behind some of the greatest recklessness that takes place in Gotham.
“I am Vengeance”, the thug dressed as Riddler says as he faces an adrenaline-fueled Batman through his swollen purple eyes. The sullen silence with which Batman looks at him, right in his eyes and realizes the kind of impact he has created in this city. It is this which makes The Batman the best adaptation of the brooding, masked vigilante.