No Moore Rope
WARNING: Dark Knight Rises SPOILER ALERT!
This week was a milestone for Amy and I. This has been the first week where we’ve truly been on our own. We’ve had a parent with us pretty much the entire year since I was diagnosed. We did have a few weeks here and there where it was just us but we knew that RuthMom or StaceMom would come down to help eventually. We’ve both longed for autonomy but have also really appreciated the extra hand so that I could focus on getting better and Amy could focus on working and providing as I recovered. RuthMom has stayed with us the most and has been an absolute saint and we already miss her.
I got to finally see the Dark Knight Rises on IMAX and really enjoyed it. I hear some criticisms and it makes me laugh because most of them (I think at least) are because people have a really hard time with metaphors in films. We generally accept them in literature and even stage production but when it comes to film there always seems to be a mixed bag of feelings especially when the film appears to have a “straight forward” plot like Dark Knight Rises. As somebody who majored in literature, drama, and film…I personally feel that the films that rely heavily on metaphors are usually the best films. They are the ones to most likely stick with you long after you watched it. Christopher Nolan is considered one of the great filmmakers today because of his use of great acting, strking visuals, and air tight writing. I would add that he also makes great use of metaphors and that’s why people talk about his films long after they’ve seen them. One scene in particular in The Dark Knight Rises that has been a source of controversy is the scene in which Bruce Wayne (after breaking his back) climbs out of a prison built deep into the ground. The critics say that “if he broke his back, it would be impossible for him to walk, let alone climb a hundred foot wall”. I believe that the people focusing on the “realism” of the scenario are missing the point. The point is that in the end, Bruce Wayne had to learn to face his fears and the only way to truly do it is the metaphor of climbing the wall without a rope. This metaphor came at the right time for me as the safety net of my Mom (and Stacemom) is gone and Amy and I must truly learn to do this on our own.
The whole rope thing is actually a reference to the first film when a young Bruce Wayne falls down a long pit (well) to the bottom and a colony of bats come racing towards him from out of a small hole in the well. This is what inspires him later to use the Bat as a symbol to strike fear into the hearts of the criminals of Gotham City. As a young Bruce lays motionless at the bottom of the well he looks up to see his dad coming down a rope and is there to save Bruce and carry him out of the well. As Bruce’s dad carries Bruce back up to the house, he says to him,”Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can LEARN to pick ourselves up.” This is ultimately what Bruce must do…LEARN how to pick himself up. Bruce finally LEARNS that the only way to truly pick himself up is to let go of all the safety nets that make him comfortable and RISE to the challenge of crawling out of the pit he’s ended up in. The most important thing about the scene where Bruce finally RISES (that a lot of people miss) is that he has a whole slew of support cheering him on at the bottom of the pit. That gives him the courage to go for it. In a way, he still has a safety net (with the cheerleaders) but it’s the type of safety net that we all need. No matter who we have around us, Amy and I know that we’ll always have the safety net of cheerleaders to encourage us and challenge us to RISE. When a person has that support, I think it’s easy to not be so cynical. Even though Bruce Wayne broke his back, why would it be impossible for him to climb the wall? I mean, metaphor or not, stranger things have happened, so that alone makes it possible.
RuthMom – Thanks for giving us courage to RISE. We love you and miss you.
Alex (and Amy)