Dark Knight Rises: Tragedy and triumph

After the utterly tragic events in America yesterday, I wasn’t sure whether to do the final post I’d planned on The Dark Knight Rises. I even considered whether I should let El (who was blissfully unaware of the situation at that point) dress up to see the movie, but explaining why he couldn’t don his costume after he’d been planning it for months, didn’t seem right…

In the end, we went to see Christopher Nolan’s final, triumphant (and brilliant, in our opinion) Batman episode in the spirit with which you should see this film; with passion, with enthusiasm, with fun. Although he knows about it now, I am desperate not to let this tragic and senseless attack make my son (the film buff and budding actor) scared of going to the cinema.

I have no desire to get deep into politics here, particularly when I live in another country, but he could have picked on any film; even if the “Joker” rumours are true, Batman certainly isn’t the only superhero franchise doing the rounds, and action films with murderous baddies are ten a penny anyway. One very disturbed and unhinged individual certainly shouldn’t have access to guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, but mentally disturbed people with no concept of what is real and what is imagined – and who manage to slip under the radar – will usually find a way to hurt others if they decide that’s what they want to do, wherever they live.

I just hope that the isolated act of one deranged person doesn’t irreparably mar this fantastic film and everything it stands for (creativity, freedom, justice). I also hope that it doesn’t detract from the heroics of the Batman character, who might be dark and brooding in this incarnation, but inspires legions of fans around the world for the good – and is by far the coolest superhero on the block.

Extremely violent, unbalanced and unchecked people will always discover a trigger point, even if you withdrew every comic book, fighting film and superhero story in the world. I totally understand (and agree with) the decision to cancel official premieres of the film as a mark of respect, but talk of UK cinemas banning people from going to see The Dark Knight Rises in fancy dress seems insane to me – you can’t judge every individual with such far-reaching suspicion.

I’m glad my young man wore his costume yesterday. He made his dream come true by finally watching Batman in the cinema, dressed as his hero. He seems to be growing up with the same modus operandi as The Batman himself – a desire to protect the friends, family and community around him. Yes, there are many blows exchanged in this film, yes there’s “sustained peril” – but that’s life. You can’t hide your children from reality. All you can (and should) do is to teach your children to respect others, keep their fists to themselves and talk frankly about the subject of mental health, which so few families seem to do. And hopefully, if you can teach them to love and live their life to the absolute full, they will never feel so desperate and desolate that they want to take away anyone else’s.

My Caped Crusader was asked to pose for photos (by other people – not just me) outside the cinema after the film

Written by Johanna Payton