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The Batman Review : Unravelling a mystery from the Caped Crusader’s perspective

The Batman starring Robert Pattinson is out this week and is seeking a lot of attention from DC fans. We’ve seen this dark, compelling character on screen so many times that there’s very small room left to explore this character further.

But, ‘THE BATMAN’ is surely one of a kind movie. It’s more of unravelling a mystery rather than a superhero movie. But what makes this movie unique is we get to see it more from the caped crusader’s (Batman’s) perspecive.

Here’s my review for THE BATMAN:

Director:  Matt Reeves

Writers: Matt Reeves, Peter Craig

Cast:  Robert Pattinson, ZoĆ« Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Andy Serkis

Music: Michael Giacchino

Budget:  $200 Million USD

Genre: Action, Adventure, Superhero, Drama, Crime Film, Mystery

Synopsis:

Gotham City’s Mayor is killed and the killer leaves a note for The Batman. As Batman tries to unravel the mayor’s death, he comes across with darker secrets about Gotham City and his parents. The Riddler, who almost at every step, stays ahead of Batman, has far damaging things for the city in mind.

the-batman-review-unravelling-a-mystery-from-the-caped-crusader's-perspective
Image Source – Google | Image by – Comicbook.com

Review:

The movie starts straight off the murder of the mayor. We see Batman’s entry within just a few minutes. Without wasting any time, the caped crusader is on this murder mystery, trying to solve it along with Gotham City Police Department (GCPD).

The first act gets you into the movie, makes you want to get to the end of the movie. At the end of act 1 and beginning of act 2, the story loses its grip and almost goes off track. But the plot is back with an action scene almost as if something big is going to happen.

Then again the plot loses its grip at the end of act 2. At this point, it seems that the movie is about to be a big turn off. Just as act 3 begins all the pieces suddenly fall into the right places making its way for an impactful climax.

We see Pattinson in cape almost for the entire movie which justifies the title of the movie.

This movie focuses on the Gotham as well as the Batman. I liked the part where they explore the past of Wayne’s and Gotham. But again, explanation of Carmine Falcone, Marooni and their rivalry was just too fast. The movie just tried to word build Gotham’s crime history in a dialogue between Batman and Gordon. Never for another moment, does the script make any effort to further explain this point.

That was the biggest red flag. This is the first movie of this universe and seems like ongoing Pattinson’s Batman is going to explore Gotham’s dark secrets rather than focusing elsewhere. Hence, an explanation would have made more sense here.

This movie is only for die-hard DC fans who are well versed with the characters of DC. As the first Matt Reeves movie, it lacked the origin of every character.

But the main purpose of this movie was to explore Gotham through Batman’s perspective which is absolutely achieved by this movie.

Character Development 

The Batman

The character development for Batman is almost little to none. That’s because the movie is set in a universe where Batman has been around for almost an year. The only mentality which he has throughout the movie is he’s never giving up on Gotham no matter what happens. He never struggles with his identity.

That’s both good and bad. Good because the character is already well defined and stays the same until the end. Bad because, well, what’s the point of the movie then? The movie is so focused on Batman that it never explores the side of Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne on the other hand is seen struggling a bit. But we never get to see how the city of Gotham looks up at Bruce Wayne.

Rather than that, the movie focuses on how Batman seems to try to understand Gotham as a city. He seems unshakeable and adamant to save Gotham.

James Gordon

Other than the Batman, the only characters in focus are James Gordon and Selina Kyla. James Gordon is a very big disappointment mainly because of the casting. Gordon is powerless in front of the Riddler.

The relationship between Batman and Gordon seemed more of a professional courtesy instead of doing greater good for Gotham.

Selina Kyle (Catwoman)

Selina Kyle’s character gets a bit of an introduction not an origin story but still, her character didn’t seem to add any depth to the plot of the movie. The kissing scenes in this movie were absolutely not needed. It seemed that those were merely added in the script because in the comics there is a chemistry between Batman and the Catwoman.

Penguin

Similarly, Penguin’s character is there in this movie only to make sense later in the second Batman movie.

Another big reason why all the characters including Batman fail to appeal is that these characters have been played a lot of times by a lot of actors. The benchmark of these characters has been set so high that it’s hard to leave a mark with just one movie.

DC or WB to be more accurate is terrible in this department. They keep selling off their rights to directors they like and movies are made. These movies are hardly extend beyond a trilogy until they’re forgotten like any normal movie.

Music  

This movie has exceled in this department. The music has been absolutely fantastic throughout the movie. For many scenes of the Batman, there’s the Batman theme playing which gives the movie a dark, gruesome vibe.

All the other sounds are very much accurate and seemed real-life sounds. None of the action scenes’ sound effects are goofed up and are kept raw, untouched to give a natural feeling.

Cinematography 

The cinematography for THE BATMAN is excellent. The way the scenes are filmed makes this movie more like an art film. There are many close-up shots of Pattinson in cape that it’s almost easy to get a visual of him if you close your eyes.

The first perspective shots are the true beauty of this movie. They add so much depth to Bruce Wayne’s purpose for wearing the cape.

Direction 

The direction of this movie is praise worthy. It’s devoid of colors & humor which is a direct statement of how dark and grim Gotham is. The visuals are accurate and on point. The use of black in this movie is just magic. Proper use of contrast of black gives a gruesome and chilly vibe to Batman’s character.

Another color which was unique to this film is red. In act 3, the use of red with black to show Gotham in the clutches of evil, is just awesome.

The brightness of many of the scenes is so low, that it’s incredible that Matt Reeves was able to capture so many details around characters even in the dark. There are very few scenes in the light which further add more meaning to the title of the movie and Batman as a character.

Darkness or night is the weapon of Batman which he uses on the enemies of Gotham to instill fear in them. Reeves brings visual to life beautifully throughout the movie. Hats off to Matt Reeves. Robert Pattinson may not be the best Batman ever but this movie surely explores the most time an actor has been in the suit throughout the movie.

Screenplay 

The script as a whole was solid. The dialogues were very well written especially for the riddler. The first person dialogues of Batman were good as well.

The script was written to bring out the darkness and secrets of Gotham and seemed to focus less on the characters. Batman is a part of Gotham city, so everything that happens with Gotham happens with him and there’s nothing he can do about it. This fact is depicted beautifully through the script.

Action/Effects 

All the action scenes in this movie are real. The sequence where Batmobile is used to chase Penguin was just a visual treat.

The filters used in this movie are too good. They bring out the true beauty of Batman and Gotham.

The entry of Batman in the climax scene was more of a strong statement of Batman never going down without a fight.

In a nutshell, THE BATMAN is just a big crime mystery with the Riddler playing with the mind of Batman throwing him off track every now and then. In the end it’s too late for the Batman to stop Riddler from what he wanted for Gotham.

This movie could have done better in terms of character development. Plus, being a bit short in terms of duration would have added for it to become a better movie. There are strong chances of a sequel but that will only be after a couple of years.

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