I first posted my thoughts below on Batman Begins on a previous blogsite in 2005. I’m watching it again today after getting a new copy of the DVD for Christmas, and I’m thinking of sharing the flick with the manchild next week when the ladies go see the Hannah Montana concert movie. I think it’s a good choice – you?
We saw Batman Begins last week in the Charleston IMAX – wow. Huge story, and not just because the screen was fifty feet high. It’s also a dark story, starting with revenge but rounded out with justice in the midst of hope, young Bruce following in his father’s footsteps to save Gotham from itself and from the evil that would hold it in bondage to fear (Good article here on fear, courage and calling by David Zimmerman). For me, I think I try to relate to Batman on a heroic level – a guy doing his best with what he has at hand to do what’s right no matter what, with a great deal of foresight and preparation. Where I tend to fall on my face is when I don’t give myself time to plan, when I don’t consider the outcomes of my actions, when I look out for myself before considering the lives and dreams of others. If I could envision what’s happening next, discover ways to overcome those things that typically hold me back, develop a mindset that’s ready for whatever comes confrontationally – I’d be Batman, too.
In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:17-19 (niv)
The manipulation of fear and guilt does bother me a little, because I think we do that more than we care to admit to get people to do what we think they should (wow, that’s a convoluted sentence). It’s in politics and religion, in our homes with the kids and with spouses – throwing out threats and warnings, molding people’s perspectives to suit our tastes. That side of it feels more underhanded than the rest. "Perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18) – what a powerful tool real love must be.
Heath Ledger passed away yesterday, after playing the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie. Playing a villian has it’s own storytelling pieces, I think, and I wish I could’ve seen him on the talkshow circuit as that one comes out later this year.
There’s something about storytelling and the heroic that makes truth jump off the page and into our hearts, I think. Batman’s planning doesn’t always prepare him for the right thing, but it gets him ready for something/anything, and not just letting life and the rest of the world pass him by without making a go of it. And Joker’s psychosis is, or at least I hope it plays out this way, a ringing metaphor of our own messiness somehow. I’m looking forward to sharing that with the boy, too.