Originally Posted by Squaremaster316
Even more themes and layers getting discovered with repeat viewings
: Theatricality and deception are powerful agents.
: You're not Ra's al Ghul. I watched him die.
: [from behind Bruce Wayne] But is Ra's al Ghul immortal?
[Bruce turns around to face Ducard]
: Are his methods supernatural?
: [to Ducard] Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, "Ra's"?
: Surely, a man who spends his nights scrambling over the rooftops of Gotham wouldn't begrudge me dual identities?
It's so awesome the way they tightly wove a theme together like this. Ghul teaches Bruce all about deception and theatrics while pulling a huge one himself, and it's only due to Bruce's time with Ghul and understanding him on some visceral level that he was able to put two and two together.
Theatricality and deception are clearly a theme in BB, but I doubt it takes repeat viewings to find that one, since it was - as many other themes in BB - verbally explained in several occasions.
What I find is a theme that's not easy to see is 'compassion.' The way Ra's al Ghul taught Bruce about it, the ay Bruce refused to learnt Ra's lesson at first and the way he finally learnt Ra's lesson at the end of the movie.
When talking about compassion:
RA'S/DUCARD: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
BRUCE: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.
Bruce gets compassion, as not killing, is important because it separates him from the criminals.
BRUCE/BATMAN: I saved your life.
RA'S: I warned you about compassion, Bruce.
Ra's makes his point again when he admits having taken advantage of Bruce's compassion.
And then, on the monorail, Batman seems to be about to kill Ra's:
RA'S: Have you finally learned to do what is necessary? [he refers to killing]
BATMAN: I won't kill you. ... But I don't have to save you.
So, Batman doesn't learnt to kill his enemy, but he learns how to leave his compassion out and leave his enemy to die. A compassionate person feels they have to save people that are about to die. Specially Batman, who believes in justice and not revenge. But in this case Bruce decides to forget about his compassion, he has learnt that lesson from Ra's, although the script makes it sounds he is the same as before.
Many have argued that Batman couldn't save him. If that had been the case, he would have probably said it: I can't save you. But his choice of words reveals his true intentions: I don't have to. Grammatically speaking 'not have to' reveals that you have the chance, but it's not mandatory to do something. Of course the movie doesn't address this point as it would contradict Bruce's reluctance to learn lessons that involve another person'