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Old 10-28-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
Nave 'Torment'
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Default Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

I think that due to the massive popularity of The Dark Knight a lot of people overlook the gem that was Batman Begins. Aside from simply popularizing the "origin story" or the "reboot" trend in Hollywood, it was perhaps the most comics-accurate film of its time, so much so that you feel like you're watching the other-half of Batman Year One that Frank Miller didn't elaborate on. Overall it treated a superhero movie like it was a serious piece of art; it gave us the Batman from a noir world that we were all waiting for and then extended it on a philosophical level with characters like Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul -- far from being a mere adaptation, it took the myth of Batman and its corresponding lore and really turned it into a modern-day legend. Not only did you feel Bruce's pent-up anger, his frustration, and his utter isolation in the world, like that scene when he throws the gun into Gotham harbour, or when he's so desperate in his cause that he's lost all sense of direction in the Bhutanese prison, you connect with him.

Superheroes are larger-than-life beings, and more often than not the stories told of them--even in the comics--tend to be simplistic action-fests that look at depth, theme, and characterisation as though they are chores. Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins on the other hand explored the concept of heroism: for the first time you had Batman struggling to define what justice really was; instead of simply being a man on a guilt-ridden crusade he becomes someone who embraces his fear and strives to find meaning in a world that had become meaningless to him in the senseless act of corruption and criminality. Far from being simply someone who's out to fight a criminal, Batman attacks the fabric of criminality itself. With Gary Oldman we finally had the best James Gordon we can imagine! Michael Caine's scenes with Christian Bale were so much more personal that you actually saw a depth in the relationship between Alfred and Bruce that was never highlighted before--a maternal side to him. And of course, with Lucius Fox, we finally looked into how Bruce Wayne developed his Bat-arsenal.

Batman's always been a psychological hero, and in close relation with that we had Scarecrow as the perfect doppleganger who used fear as a weapon just like Batman does. We had Ra's Al Ghul and this unique interpretation where Bruce's training around the globe included a final step, as though he'd graduated from college and went into a final Masters degree for crime-fighting in the cold mountains, mimicking the traditional heroic journey, and a conflict between a mentor and a pupil -- with a mentor who was as willing to kill as Batman from the earlier cinematic adaptations. It was a sweeping exploration of Batman comics from the early 40s (Batman vs. mob), the 60s (sci-fi tech), the 70s (The League of Shadows), and finally the Modern era started off from the 80s onwards (Year One). We saw those iconic elements of batman fighting Ra's with a sword, Scarecrow on horseback, Arkham Asylum as a place straight from Silence of the Lambs -- a very close look at the distinction between a B.F. Skinner-like Jonathan Crane who might as well be Jeremiah Arkham and Mr. Zsaz (two characters who appear here and who appeared with a similar story twist in Zsaz's original appearance). We saw a corrupt GCPD with a young Gordon as the only good cop in a bent town as though its a noir-saga, with Falcone as anAl Capone-esque "untouchable crime-lord" fueling an economic depression similar to the one that gave birth to Batman and superheroes back in the 40s. But most important of all, we had a Bruce Wayne who was utterly human, who faced human challenges, human needs, and in the end grew up to accept his role in the world.

But those are some of the surface-aspects of the film, we already know that, what I love about Batman Begins is the fact that it goes on a deeper, more primitive level that's mythical in nature. Yes it's a realistic interpretation of a comic-book hero, but it's also an exploration of what a symbol really is. And with that in mind, I'm exploring this trilogy with some of its literary, philosophical, and mythical symbols in mind -- the results are quite surprising, I never thought I'd find a parallel to a paleolithic ritual where adolescents were forced into a cave in order to confront their fears, so that they come back up and became hunters for the tribe -- in BATMAN MOVIE. Frank Miller might have connected those Jungian elements but it was under Chris Nolan's films that they were more properly articulated.

I'm writing Heroic Archetypes: Batman Begins, a 7-part series of articles that looks deeper into some of those implications, and some of those mythical archetypes and symbols that we've seen in the movie. Released on JUSTICE BULLETIN.COM like my previous article on Kenneth Branagh's Thor, I was finally able to explore some of those ideas to their fullest extent. I'd love to hear your thoughts on them -- I've included the links below.

I promised the great people on the site that I'd follow this up withan exploration of The Dark Knight and then with The Dark Knight Rises, but I'm still working on those at the moment. As both Bat-fans who love to discus some of the more profound ideas in these movies, I think you will enjoy reading these, and I certainly will appreciate any feedback you guys throw my way. Thanks again.

-Nave


The Links:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Initiation Rites of the Palaeolithic Cave

Part 3: The Divine Child and the Orphan

Part 4: The Journey and the Totem

Part 5: Life, Death, and Rebirth

Part 6: Redefining Justice and the Past

Part 7: The Conclusion

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THE JUSTICE BULLETIN published some of my thematic analysis on the symbolism in Nolan's superhero saga.
I call it Heroic Archetypes. You can read the parts on Batman Begins in the following links:
(pt 1; pt 2; pt 3; pt 4; pt 5; pt 6; pt 7)


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Old 10-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

This was damn good. Do one for TDK please.

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

I've warmed up to Begins recently. It actually stemmed from watching it and TDK back to back in preparation for Rises. It was the first time I'd sat down and watched the movie all the way through in a long time and I found myself enjoying it a heck of a lot. Whereas before I was kind of put off by the formulaic third act it worked for me because of the introspective and personal first act, which I think is marvelous. It kind of justified it for me and it could not have worked without the first act being so good. Reading an analysis like this makes me appreciate the movie and the trilogy even more. There is just so much subtext to explore.

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

I've read your first three chapters, Nave. Extremely impressed so far.

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Old 10-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudgie View Post
This was damn good. Do one for TDK please.
Seconded.

And for TDKR if you can, but great work so far, Nave.

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Old 10-28-2012, 11:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

Be a short essay for TDKR.

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Old 10-29-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

We get it, you didn't like it.

But you know...there are people that did

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

Good on 'em. No movie is so bad that it doesn't have some fans I always say.

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:31 PM   #9
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And good movies always have fans that just hates on it....that's what I always say

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #10
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Yeah like fans who send death threats to the people who don't like the movie. Class acts they are

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Old 10-29-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

A few doesn't represent the many.

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:11 AM   #12
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

A good read Nave.

(Then again, I should probably get back to reading for class)

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Old 11-01-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

Thanks for reading guys! And the encouragement as well! I'll be working on The Dark Knight and then Rises as soon as I get to, most of the material for TDK is a lot more closer to the popular myths than these obscure rituals/ideas, and as for rises, I think thematically it does go back to Begins and then ahead of it. One of the things I love about the trilogy is that it works on so many levels that you just can't help but develop your personal interpretations about them, I guess that's expected from a Chris Nolan film, but the fact that this is a Batman trilogy and the fact that it's so much about this one truly human superhero just makes it all the more better for me.

In fact, I admit that most of my personal opinions about heroism has some close ties with this trilogy. Y'know those movies that just stay with you and you can really connect with? Well, this one was that for me

But... holy **** someone got threatened for disliking TDKR?

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THE JUSTICE BULLETIN published some of my thematic analysis on the symbolism in Nolan's superhero saga.
I call it Heroic Archetypes. You can read the parts on Batman Begins in the following links:
(pt 1; pt 2; pt 3; pt 4; pt 5; pt 6; pt 7)


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Old 11-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

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Originally Posted by Nave 'Torment' View Post

But... holy **** someone got threatened for disliking TDKR?
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world...s-7961955.html

Rotten tomatoes had to shut down the comments section over it. Crazy fanboys.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

But once more, those are only a few crazy fanboys. The majority are much more respectable. And I assume the crazy fanboys are the fanboys that actually visit RT

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:41 PM   #16
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Those fanboys are everywhere. It's no secret Nolan's fans have a bad rep. Those death threat crazies just made it worse.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:45 PM   #17
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It's no secret any fanbase is crazy. You're crazy yourself if you don't find any Raimi fanboys, "Webbheads" or Marvel fanboys going nuts these days.

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Old 11-01-2012, 11:58 PM   #18
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Ehhh yeah but there are fan bases that are way crazier than others. Name another comic book fan base where the fans sent death threats to someone over a bad review of a movie.

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Old 11-02-2012, 01:32 AM   #19
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Watch what happens in 2015 if Avengers 2 is given one bad review, lol.

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudgie View Post
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world...s-7961955.html

Rotten tomatoes had to shut down the comments section over it. Crazy fanboys.
And I thought camp Whedon was bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anno_Domini View Post
It's no secret any fanbase is crazy. You're crazy yourself if you don't find any Raimi fanboys, "Webbheads" or Marvel fanboys going nuts these days.
There's nothing wrong with loving something to death, but there's something utterly wrong when you expect others to love the same thing the same way, that just extends insanity to creepy. The comments on the SHH front-page is riddled with camp Whedon and any mention of a Nolan or Batman gets you a thumbs down. It's worse over at IMDB. I'm convinced that no mature person ever ventures there (unless its some obscure old-timey art flick).

But yeah, as for Heroic Archetypes, maybe I should stop bumping this lol. Thanks again for reading guys. You know I appreciate it

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THE JUSTICE BULLETIN published some of my thematic analysis on the symbolism in Nolan's superhero saga.
I call it Heroic Archetypes. You can read the parts on Batman Begins in the following links:
(pt 1; pt 2; pt 3; pt 4; pt 5; pt 6; pt 7)


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Old 11-03-2012, 08:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Watch what happens in 2015 if Avengers 2 is given one bad review, lol.
Avengers got some bad reviews didn't it. All movies do. Didn't see the fans sending the death threats then.

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Old 11-03-2012, 08:44 PM   #22
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

Although I didn't talk about this film, now did I? Avengers has now an almost like cult following as Nolan's Batman films did. You'll see the crazy fans coming out of the woodwork once one negative review pops up for the sequel.

I mean, why would I talk about one film when these crazy fans didn't show up for Batman Begins or The Dark Knight.

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:03 PM   #23
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

These are quite awesome essays Nave. Thumbs way the hell up!

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #24
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Default Re: Heroic Archetypes - Batman Begins

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Originally Posted by Anno_Domini View Post
Although I didn't talk about this film, now did I? Avengers has now an almost like cult following as Nolan's Batman films did. You'll see the crazy fans coming out of the woodwork once one negative review pops up for the sequel.

I mean, why would I talk about one film when these crazy fans didn't show up for Batman Begins or The Dark Knight.
The crazy fans were around for Knight, they just didn't go sending anyone death threats. Rises kinda just brought out the insanity. There was that other whacko who went and shot up a theater that was showing Rises.

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #25
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The crazy fans were around for Knight, they just didn't go sending anyone death threats. Rises kinda just brought out the insanity. There was that other whacko who went and shot up a theater that was showing Rises.
How distasteful in bringing up the shooter when talking about Batman fanboys. Bravo. There is nothing to tie in both of them.

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