When the mantle of the Bat was passed on to Ben Affleck. A survey was conducted. The survey declared the Christian Bale Batman as the best ever portrayal of Batman in any live-action film adaptations. This was due to Christian Bale’s very balanced depiction of both Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Because of this portrayal, The Caped Crusader was introduced to a younger audience in all its glory. Making this new and young audience fall in love with Batman. The best thing about the Christian Bale Batman is that it is very believable.
History Of Christian Bale Batman
After the abysmal box office performance and negative reviews of Batman and Robin. The studio abandoned the plans for sequels to the movie. In 2003, the studio tasked Christopher Nolan to direct an untitled Batman movie.
On getting the green signal from the studio Nolan started to develop the story with David S. Goyer. Nolan wanted to re-invent the character by exploring the origins of Batman. This was previously not done in any of the previous Batman films. As a result, this approach was very well received both by the critics and audiences alike.
The three films that Nolan directed are collectively known as The Dark Knight trilogy. And it is the complete story arc for the Christian Bale Batman from start to end, unlike his predecessors.
Nolan actually wanted to make a movie based on reality. In other words, he wanted to portray Batman in the modern world and wanted to make him believable. This is the primary reason no other DC characters exist in this continuity. Because characters like Flash and Superman no matter how iconic and loved, do not exist in the real world.
For this reason, Nolan developed a complete back story for Batman’s parents and how they were helping people of Gotham in tough economic times. And also developed a complete story arc for developing a connection between Bruce and bats.
It is shown in Batman Begins that Bruce falls down a well at the Wayne Manor and is scared of the bats that fly over him inside the well. Thomas Wayne rescues young Bruce but due to this encounter, he starts to fear bats.
And instead of watching the Zorro movie as in comics, the Wayne family goes to watch Opera where Bruce is starting to get frightened by a Bat-like character in the production. Due to this, they leave the theatre, and Thomas and Martha ultimately meet their demise at the hands of Joe Chill that night.
Development of Characters
The characters of the trilogy were developed on this reality-based approach of the director. And unlike other iterations, the murderer of the Wayne’s is caught by the Police. He is also named Joe Chill. Nolan developed the characters over the course of the trilogy where Batman Begins deals with the formative years of Batman and The Dark Knight deals with him tackling the Joker. And The Dark Knight Rises serves as the end to the trilogy completing the journey of Christian Bale Batman.
But the killer is going to be released on Bale after he agrees to testify against the mob boss Carmine Falcone. A devastated Bruce buys a pistol to shoot the killer but he is killed by an assassin sent by the mob boss. After witnessing this he confesses his intentions to his childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes who is disgusted at his move.
The connection between Alfred and Bruce is also reality-based and he tries to stop Bruce from becoming Batman.
Journey of Bruce To Batman
Following the death of Joe Chill Bruce goes on a journey around the world to discover true meaning of life and working for several criminal organizations to understand organized crime better. There he meets Henry Ducard who takes him to the League of Shadows and Ra’s al Ghul and trains Bruce.
During his training, he is forced to face his fear. And is given a chemical substance due to which Bruce starts hallucinating bats and overcomes his fear of the bats by passing the test. He does not complete his final test, which involves him killing a thief. Afterward, it is revealed that Bruce is chosen by the League to destroy Gotham as it is beyond saving.
On hearing this Bruce destroys the temple of the league and saves Henry Ducard as he is Bruce’s mentor. Henry is later on revealed to be the actual Ra’s al Ghul when he comes to destroy Gotham later in Batman Begins.
After destroying the temple, Bruce goes back to Gotham. And takes on the persona of Batman to fight crime.
As opposed to the comics where Bruce is shown to have complete control of Wayne Enterprises, Nolan explores this further. It is shown that the company is being taken public by William Earl and to avoid Bruce they give him money.
He meets Luscious Fox and uses hi-tech gadgets developed by Wayne Enterprises in his fight against crime. This includes a new Batmobile called the Tumblr, a new Batsuit every other essential he needs in his crusade against crime.
The suit was also redesigned integrating technology to provide protection against bullets. And the cape is also shown to use technology to provide Batman with his gliding abilities. Unlike previous portrayals where the gadgets were straight out of the comics with no science behind them.
Nolan directed this movie as an action thriller rather than a sci-fi and that is the reason, Christian Bale’s Batman portrayal is different than others. Nolan even developed the villains as they would be in real world. Even the Joker is shown to be a war veteran and uses make-up on his face and dye on his hair rather than a mad-man who fell into a vat of chemicals.
Approach of Christian Bale Batman
The approach of Bale’s Batman is also very true to the real world where Batman tries to support the law in every case. He not only fights the criminals but also finds incriminating evidence against these criminals so that the District Attorney can build up cases against the criminals.
He does all of this in hopes of retiring when the crime is under control in Gotham. And he does indeed succeeds in retiring at the end of the trilogy. He does so by faking his own death and saving Gotham from the nuclear bomb that Talia al Ghul has detonated with help of Bane.
In this movie trilogy, Nolan does not echo the same stance as the comics. Where it is established that “the world will always need a Batman”. But rather develops Batman as someone who streamlines the system and helps the authorities in taking down organized crime syndicates. And as a result, the law enforcement agencies become stronger eliminating the need for a Batman.
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