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Processing Pain with The Batman — Spoiler Notes

I am grateful to be able to be back at the cinema again this month. For another comic-based movie.

I have been hyped about The Batman movie by Matt Reeves since the cast announcement. When the news came up, I think it was going to be an interesting take on one of the most problematic characters in DC comic. I am biased because I am one of the fans of Robert Pattinson's career picks after Harry Potter and Twilight.

Matt Reeves gave the clue on this tweet.

That’s Pattinson in the movie Good Time by Safdie brothers. An intense and thrilling 2017 movie about brothers trying to get to a better life. With his range, I believe Pattinson can offer another perspective on Bruce Wayne and The Batman.

And then there was more news about Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle / Catwoman. And another personal favorite, Paul Dano as The Riddler. Those three key characters in this Batman movie are brilliant casts.

Finally, the first teaser is awesome too. It shows that this movie tells a little bit darker story about Batman and Gotham City. We may all know how corrupt the city is from previous Batman movies. However, this time The Riddler hints us that The Batman is part of the chaos of Gotham too.

Alright, let’s talk more about the movie.

I really like how this movie portrays The Batman that is still in the learning phase. We got a peek on his journal. How he became the shadows of Gotham city. How he tried to protect the weak. How he introduces himself as vengeance.

Bruce’s Journal

It’s not just a call. it’s a warning to them. Fear is a tool. They think I’m hiding in the shadows but I am the shadows.
I wish I could say that I’m making a difference but I don’t know.
These nights all roll together in a rush. Behind the mark. Sometimes in the morning, I have to push myself to remember everything that happened.

We then learned that in this movie we are not going to see the playboy side of Bruce Wayne. It seems Bruce Wayne closed himself from the world.

Since the beginning of the movie, we can feel that the story feels darker than the previous take on Batman. Batman acknowledged that he can’t be everywhere to protect the city. And then things got more thrilling after The Riddler showed up.

The Riddler poster.

Throughout the movie, The Riddler keeps giving us riddles to solve. The Batman tried to figure out what’s Riddler’s endgame. Batman is furious because he knew that The Riddler is steps ahead of him and the police. And we really got deeper on the detective side of The Batman. And then he crossed pathways with Selina during his investigation. The more we get into the riddles, the more we learn how corrupt the city is. The Riddler might be seen as a psychopath, but we will learn his motives.

The three key characters are connected deeply to the complicated conflict in Gotham’s underbelly.

For me, the movie is about how the characters process their pain growing up in Gotham city.

This one post from DC is quite a spoiler because Paul Dano and Matt Reeves reveal that “without Batman, we would never have The Riddler.”

We need to applaud Matt Reeves as well because this movie takes a closer look at Selina Kyle. How she was involved in the intricacies of corrupted Gotham. We can understand more about her motives. We will not see any fancy cat-related skills, but we learned that Catwoman can truly fight and stand up for what she believes.

PS. I demand Zoe’s Catwoman series or spin-off movie portraying her slaying Gotham’s mafioso.

Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle

As the riddles are solved one by one, we see how Catwoman and Batman process their pain differently. Catwoman wants justice. Batman doesn’t want to cross the line to justify killing other human beings. Batman still believes that he can make an impact to make Gotham a hopeful and better city. However, as the riddles got to their core, Bruce started to question his belief.

The angst.

He still has a fear that he doesn’t conquer yet.

He is trying to understand what The Riddler wants to expose.

Bruce trying to connect the riddles.

The climax of Batman and The Riddler relationship is on the Arkham scene. In which both actors, Pattinson and Dano, showed their amazing acting range. We can feel Batman’s rage behind the mask and the chaotic intelligence of The Riddler without his dark green mask.

That scene at the Arkham Asylum

I think the movie give us all the different ways the main characters process their pains. How Bruce decided to become Batman. How The Riddler is inspired by Batman and decided to unmask the truth of Gotham city. How Catwoman struggles to avenge her childhood.

And those really makes me think how would I process my own pain?

Can I process that and then grow from there?

How would I grow from that pain?

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With the interconnected detective story, the three hours running time doesn’t feel that long. Though I might suggest to have a meal before you watch the movie.

Together with the story, I love the comical and cinematic take of this movie. I am happy that I managed to watch it on the big screen. And yeah I will watch again once the digital is released.

Just realized as well that Greig Fraser is the cinematographer for this movie. He is also Dune’s cinematographer. Wonderful works!

I would also like to add the technique to produce the gritty looks in this movie is awesome.

What’s more to like is of course the scoring by the legend Michael Giacchino.

Please check also this twitter post for more awesome shots!

The Riddler
The Cat and The Bat
The Red Flood
The Sunrise

Vengeance won’t change the past, mine or anyone else’s.
People need hope.

The Gritty First Look

Extra:

Hidden message on The Batman official poster. Source: Nervatel

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