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Batman Begins (2005)

"Before viewing" talks introduce the film without spoilers. Watch it, then click on the "After viewing" talk for more. More»» by Randy Heffner

Why the film is worth your time

Batman Begins is an superb example of what excellent screenwriting and directing can do for a familiar story. Batman can easily be (and has been) produced with simple action and black-and-white morality. Christopher Nolan (with the story and screenwriting collaboration of David Goyer), in Batman Begins, deeply explores the nature of mankind’s struggle with morality, revenge, and justice. You know the story: Bruce Wayne by day, Batman by night. Beat up the bad guys and send them running. But for Nolan, these are not so simple, and they are merely the outcome of a deeper process of character development. A simplistic story would have been content to say that Bruce Wayne created Batman to fight for justice after his parents were murdered. Batman Begins shows us the extended and intricate emotional struggle that Bruce traverses in his path to determining who Batman is — and will be. This is what gives the film its depth and makes it well worth watching. Running time: 140 min.

Young Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered by a mugger in a dark alley. In seeking revenge, he finds out how deeply corrupt the city of Gotham is. Driven by his rage and disillusionment, he travels the dark corners of the world, learning the ways of poverty and crime, learning to fight, and lashing out wildly at injustice. Then comes his real journey, as he looks inside at what he has become and looks forward to what he will be. Thus, Batman begins.

Batman fights injustice, so there is a fair amount of fist-fighting and a bit of gunplay, but only a little mild gore. A hallucinogen is used as a weapon, and we see some people’s hallucinations. The film has limited, mild language and limited alcohol use.

  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Screenplay: Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer based on characters created by Bob Kane
  • Leads: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Morgan Freeman
  • Cinematography: Wally Pfister
  • Music: James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer

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"After viewing" talks assume that you have seen the film. They will contain spoilers. More»» by Randy Heffner

How the film enriched and changed me

Watching Batman Begins, seeing Bruce Wayne’s internal struggle to find the right response to evil, and seeing the contrast with Ducard’s definition of justice, I want to find a clearer and better response to the offenses

Read the rest of this entry »

Screenshots and dialog copyright © 2005 by the filmmakers.

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