Originally Posted by BatmanBeyond
While I'm not disputing the significance of the pseudo-twist that you're underlining here, I do think it could've been executed a bit differently. I remember that the first time I saw the movie in theaters, my mind immediately thought that it was done for the sole purpose of establishing Talia as the main villain to the detriment of Bane. While further analysis of the pseudo-twist in the context of the movie revealed that that wasn't the case at all, I can certainly see why it would come off as such. On first viewings at least.
Exactly. On first viewing, I could understand. On the surface level it comes off that way.
But the thing with Nolan is he builds his movies for multiple viewings. He tried to do it in a way where it could be a surprise to a lot of people (IE the general audience), but also executed it in a way where in retrospect it is painfully obvious. Like it's more of a blind spot for Bruce than the audience. You see her in full LoS garb, he throws her the gun. It's like "Don't do that!"
It's because of that kind of stuff that my first viewing of TDKR was probably least enjoyable, and it only got better for me from there. Unfortunately, first impressions tend to be very important, so I understand why people would be upset if they felt the twist was weak. I would probably feel the same if it came out of nowhere, but still works on the level of tying up the plot thread about the child in the pit. It makes the story better. If it was just that Bane escaped as a child and then Bruce did the same as a man and that's the end of that, it would have left a lot to be desired. The way they structured it, it needed more payoff than that. And the structuring of the story in a way that prolonged Talia's reveal until the last possible moment was a nice way to get some added punch and save the revelations until the end.
Another reason it works structurally is just because in these films the villain always plays their hand at the end. Ra's reveals his identity and plans for Gotham. We see what Joker's endgame truly is. With TDKR, the villains' plan is already firmly in motion halfway through the film, so this serves as that beat. What's nice is the added tension of Batman having a knife between his ribs as he learns all of this when Gotham is 11 minutes from going up in a mushroom cloud. I've said it before but Talia's reveal is actually one of my favorite scenes in the film.