Batman Begins is a pillar among Superhero Movies and is also one of the Best Films in the genre to date. Next Friday will mark the film’s 17th anniversary. That’s right, it has been 17 years since the first film of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy hit the big screens. And today, we are taking a look at why this movie is such a phenomenal Batman film and why even after all these years, Batman Begins is still so relevant to the genre.
Christian Bale: Batman has been portrayed in many ways by various different actors throughout the past few decades. From Adam West’s portrayal of the caped crusader in the 60s to Keaton’s great turn as The Dark Knight in the 80s and now Pattinson donning the cape in 2022, there have been no shortages of nuanced and iconic takes on this beloved superhero.
Batman Begins: Christian Bale’s performance as Batman will always be memorable.
Christian Bale’s performance as the Bat of Gotham as well as Bruce Wayne has arguably been the most iconic one so far.
His “I’m Batman” remains one of the most quotable and memorable lines in all of cinema history. He excelled at every single one of the personas he carried around his Batman, and it showed in his character’s interactions with the film’s ensemble. He was intimidating and threatening when he was Batman. He was charismatic when he was Bruce Wayne, and yet at all times, he was just a person who had been through so much trauma. Someone you could feel so much for, a tortured individual whose parents’ death still weighed heavily on him. His character was shown as someone who is by no means fearless or invincible, and he plays that part with so much conviction.
Christian Bale brought everything about his version of the character to the forefront and did not miss a beat. His portrayal of the masked vigilante is truly at the heart of the movie, and he makes you understand both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
The Perfect Ensemble: Batman Begins also had the perfect Alfred played by the legendary Michael Caine. And one of the greatest Batman villains of all time, Ra’s Al Ghul, was brought to life by Liam Neeson, who thrived on this menacing role as the leader of the League of Shadows. Neeson skillfully captured and conveyed the mentality and vision of a complex character such as Ra’s with a level of pure sophistication.
Cillian Murphy may now be most renowned for his role as the great Thomas Shelby on Peaky Blinders, but back in 2005, he did a stellar job of bringing a classic Batman villain, Scarecrow, to life. And besides his angelic voice, Morgan Freeman brought heart, humour, and a welcome presence as Lucius Fox. Katie Holmes’s Rachel Dawes also had some good chemistry with both Bruce and Alfred. And if that is not enough, even Joffrey Baratheon was in this movie.
Character Dynamics, Solid Action, and Perfect Mix of Tone: Batman in itself is a very rich character, whatever the iteration might be, and there are so many aspects and nuances of his character that can be explored. But what makes Batman Begins so good is the character dynamics in this movie.
One of the most notable of them is the classic Batman saga relationship between Alfred and Bruce. We see Bruce putting himself in death’s path in order to keep Gotham safe, while Alfred is the man who would put Bruce above all and wants nothing other than happiness for Bruce. This particular theme and emotion has been conveyed so beautifully and lies at the heart and soul of the entire trilogy.
Arguably, Rachel Dawes might not make the audience feel much, but she still does a brilliant job as Bruce’s only friend and childhood crush. The movie is dark, as obviously a Batman movie should be. But it has enough lighter and sarcastic moments, especially between Lucius and Bruce, that give you a good chuckle.
And the action is raw and solid, from Bruce’s training session with Ra’s to him fighting crime in the streets of Gotham and slowly becoming the city’s guardian angel. It’s all done quite neatly.
Batman Begins: The movie is more than just about the Bat of Gotham.
More than Batman: This is not just a story about Batman. It’s also about Bruce Wayne. Batman Begins shows that Bruce is more than Batman.
Throughout the movie, we see his billionaire playboy persona as well as his real persona, who is battling and still struggling with the death of his parents. One of the most iconic moments from any superhero movie ever will forever be from this movie when Batman saves Joffrey Baratheon, and Rachel asks him about his real identity. He then answers by saying, “It’s not who I am underneath, but it’s what I do that defines me”, which was a callback to the time when Bruce was partying like his usual playboy self and Rachel sees him like that, so he tries to explain that this is not him and underneath all that he is a good man, to which Rachel replies, “It’s not who you are underneath Bruce, it’s what you do that defines you.” It is powerful humane moments like this that make this movie what it is. A forever classic.
A Perfect Origin Story: The early 2000s was a time of superhero origin stories, and there could have certainly been some fatigue around it by the time this particular movie came out, but Batman Begins still to this day rather feels refreshing.
It brought something new to the table. It felt fresh and new even in its style as it kept going forward and backwards at different instances of time showing Bruce at different stages of his life. Throughout the movie, we take notice of his growth from those challenges and how it shapes him into the person he is now. We also dive into his heart as he deals with the grief that has surrounded him his whole life.
The movie is very much a psychological war in Bruce’s mind, and we get to see so many different sides of him. We get to take a pretty deep look at his and Batman’s psyche and get to see what drove him towards his no-kill rule. We see his ideology, motivation, and everything surrounding it; it all works so well, and these elements combine to become a perfect origin story.
What do you think makes Batman Begins so remarkable? Comment below and let us know.