The Dark Knight Rises – what a phenomenal movie. When I watched it the very first time, I was satisfied. Just excited that they ended the trilogy in a complete manner. It was by far the best movie series I had ever seen.
And then I watched it again, recently, and that’s when it dawned on me – The Dark Knight Rises is the most important movie in the trilogy. In the first movie, Batman Begins, we see young Bruce Wayne fall in a pit, followed with his father helping him out of it. Bruce has a recurring dream of his father repelling down towards him, holding his hand, and pulling him out of this dark place.
However, in The Dark Knight Rises, he gets thrown into the pit; a much deeper and darker pit. And now, with a broken back. This is where the most significant part kicks in: he heals on his own, he trains himself, and he climbs out on his own – without a rope. The rope signifies any kind of assistance, be it from his father pulling him out of the pit, Ra’s Al Ghul showing him the right path, or Alfred motivating him.
But that was Bruce rising up on his own. What about Batman? In the earlier movies, we could see Batman tear down gangs, and even an assassins cult on his own, without much trouble. However, in TDKR, Bane completely wrecks him. In this aspect, although Batman takes a good amount of beating even in their fight, he is able to defend himself and get Bane on his all fours (sexual innuendo, I know; realized after typing). And the only way he’s able to match up to Bane is when he realizes that he is, in fact, afraid. All this time, he believed he could take anyone down, and nothing was a big deal for him. But as he gets thrown in the pit, and fails to get out of it, he realizes that he is afraid – which leads him to fight fear and successfully climb out of the pit without any help. Thus, making a huge character development for both, Batman and Bruce Wayne.
As he gets out of the pit, he realizes that he has overcome the biggest challenge Bane thought he had thrown at Bruce, and now confidently returns to Gotham to save the day, yet again.