We're the same. Many of us find art agreeable only when the masterpiece itself touches something deep inside us. That is, the completed creation can only be accepted and appreciated if we can somehow personally relate to it. It was winter, here in Australia 1. I had seen Batman Returns at the cinemas and it blew me away.
I was supposed to belong to an ideal, a standard, but at the same time I was living another life. Tim Burton was the first film maker to say its OK for a comic movie to be dark and to confess that darkness can happen to us all.
After Tim Burton's Batman interpretations, many other dark comic book heroes and anti- heroes flooded the cinemas. Comic book folklore for decades had told of friendly, likable heroes with dashingly handsome smiles and magical superpowers who fly in the sky, and spun powerful webs from their wrists and wore red boots and had the strength of a locomotive. But what happens when you are only ten years old and you see your parents coldly executed in front of your very eyes? Somewhere in your psyche,your young tender psychological make up breaks apart. The only way such pain and hurt can be managed is to create an alternate persona. You make a promise. Your other self will be stronger, harness all the anger all the rage to use whatever means available to avenge the innocence of your parents onto that criminal, those criminals, any criminal.
This is life seen through Bruce Wayne's eyes. The world he sees is dark, gloomy, and cold. Although he patrols the streets and people hear him cruise by, they don't rush out to get his autograph. He is their Saviour, not the winner of a personality contest. Batman Returns is about losers. Batman, for yet another Christmas, remains . Bruce Wayne never gets to lawfully arrest the vile Max Shreck.
The Penguin never gets to unleash his pain of being discarded by his parents onto the citizens of Gotham, and Selina Kyle is forever lost to being mentally fragmented and traumatized. And the hero doesn't get the girl- or cat. This movie delves into the desire in all of us to want so desperately to belong, to have a home, as expressed by Bruce Wayne and Oswald Cobblepot. The film brings out a need in all of us to be heard, respected and not ignored as desired by Selina Kyle , Oswald and of course Bruce Wayne. But sometimes we are all suppressed in one way or another, we are told to be an ideal, to behave to a certain standard. That is until we finally snap.
Only hope remains at the end of the movie as we see Catwoman rise towards the night sky. But come what may we all must wish good will towards all men and women. As for me , I cant say that I will reach a point where I will believe my problem with duality will be reconciled. We all have a dark side.
Batman Returns is not only the best of the Batman films ,it is truly a stand out exceptionally fine masterpiece of storytelling.
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