I watched Batman Begins again last Friday. It’s been a while since I saw it, as I’ve found myself tending towards The Dark Knight lately (look, it opens with William Fichtner. I’m weak) but it really brought home to me how much I enjoy Christopher Nolan’s body of work, and how cohesive his films are.
Time and again, film after film, he returns to the same kinds of idea; revisiting the same themes over and over. Memory, destiny, personal responsibility, the whim of the psyche and the power of the mind… playing with unreliable narratives and even more unreliable narrators.
I still remember the headache I got from watching Memento – a film which really came about because of Nolan’s determination to apply the same narrative freedoms authors have had for years to films: again, fractured stories and untrustworthy tellers. That headache, I’ll add, has only ever been outdone by the one I got watching Pi in the old ABC on Tottenham Court Road (ohdeargodmyheadmyheadmyhead. No wonder I fear Black Swan.)
There is one thing I can’t take terribly seriously in Batman, though: Gotham’s law courts are blatantly, clearly and obviously the main corridor that runs between Senate House and the main entrance to the IHR and never the twain shall meet, not for all the suspension-of-disbelief under the sun. I haven’t spent four years schlepping books round that place just to pretend I’m in Gotham. Although, now I come to think about it…
This is also the film that made me weep back in December, for the sole reason that I realised I hit the Age of Bruce (30 – and why am I not yet a squillionaire?).
Still, am I looking forward to the next one? Are you kidding?