Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
Yeah, I think part of the idea is that when Bruce is left with no way to be productive and fight his demons, he's forced into a corner with all these unresolved issues eating him up inside. I think that's why a lot of people mistakenly believed he quit simply because he was sad about Rachel.
It's kind of interesting, cause Bruce has been known to brood a lot in the comics (in the Burton films as well), but the Nolan films never depicted him as someone who would ever really take the time to brood, cause he was always keeping vigilante and furthering his mission. But when he's rendered useless, he's left with all the time in the world to slide into an extremely broody, depressed state. Hence the reclusive, bedroom archer we see at the beginning of TDKR. Bruce Wayne didn't let himself go simply because his energy project failed. Everything finally caught up with him.
Exactly. I remember all the comments of people saying, "WHAAAAT!?!?!? HE QUIT BECAUSE RACHEL DIED!!?!?!??!!" No, he quit because Batman took the fall for Harvey's murders, and because he wasn't really needed anymore.
But left to face his demons alone, without the cowl, Bruce fell into despair. And that was the beauty of TDKR. Breaking Bruce down to his core, then putting him back together.
It's such a beautiful arc through the three films. It genuinely saddens me that a lot of Bat fans didn't enjoy TDKR. I have a long post I'll save for another day, but what I think people miss is that these films were always about Bruce. He says in BB that he wants to fight the criminals and leave a legacy. He always had an end game in mind, unlike perhaps the Batman of the comics which endlessly fights crime because it is necessary.
There is no vast rogues' gallery in the Nolanverse. It's the organized mob with a few outliers such as the Joker (internal threat), and it's the League of Shadows (external threat). It never made sense to me that the ending of TDKR should be about Bruce still being Batman. It was always about Bruce dealing with the grief of his parents' deaths, cleaning up Gotham, and leaving a legacy of justice so he could move on. It's the same idea in the comics, but the sandbox there is infinitely larger in the number of challenges that can be thrown in Batman's direction. I'm so glad Nolan dared to give Bruce an outlet from being condemned to investigating and fighting criminals night after night.
Again, the emotional arc for Bruce is the heart of the trilogy. TDKR nailed it. TDKR nailed many other things, too, but the personal journey of Bruce Wayne is what made TDKR so affecting. It's the best of the three. It wraps up all the threads. It's completely gripping, both viscerally and emotionally. I hope that in time more people come around on the movie. What Nolan did here, the epic scale of the film and the intimate story with Bruce, melded together into an unforgettable experience for me.