Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Archetypes and A Hero's Journey | Film Review | Archetypes | Batman Begins

Image result for batman begins movie poster
Fig 1. Batman Begins Movie Poster


After many attempts at solidifying Batman on the big screen by Directors like Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, no-one has managed to make an impact as great as Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins'. Batman Begins takes us to the roots of Bruce Wayne and explains his parents death, his initiation into the League of Shadows and his rise to becoming the Caped Crusader.

Nolan's version of the much loved Batman universe certainly doesn't shy away from proper backstory or any of the action that we as an audience love to see in a superhero film. It also doesn't shy away from the fact that Joseph Campbell's 'A Hero's Journey' Monomyth for common archetypes fits in perfectly into the characters involved in Batman Begins. Below Each character will be Explained in accordance with the archetypes that they match up to,

Hero- (Batman)- Despite being somewhat of an anti-hero rather than an all good superhero, Batman still fits into the Hero role, and rightfully so. Batman is the man who is trying to clean up Gotham of twisted criminals in order to make it a better place. Much like how his father had envisioned before his tragic death at the hands of a petty criminal. Batman's hero status isn't necessarily achieved until well over half way through the film as he spends a great deal of time training his fighting skills and his ability to use his greatest fear against his enemies to gain the upper hand. 

Shadow- ( Scarecrow/Ras al Ghul) - In Batman Begins the main villain who aims to bring down Gotham is Dr Jonathan Crane, better known as "Scarecrow". Scarecrow is a normal looking person but aims to strike fear into every individual in Gotham and plans to do this through the use of fear toxin, he wears a sack like mask to further scare the people under the grip of the fear toxin. This toxin is a creation of Dr Jonathan Crane and is used to make people hallucinate and witness their greatest fears come to life right in front of them. Although Scarecrow maybe classed as a villain throughout this film, he is defeated before the final climax and is left back in Arkham Asylum by Batman. This is because Scarecrow attempts to use his fear toxin on Batman, which at first works and causes Batman to hallucinate bats. Moments later in the film Batman uses Scarecrows fear toxin against him. 

Although after Ras al Ghuls disappearance it may seem like he is gone forever, until after Dr Jonathan Crane's apprehension he admits that he had been working for Ras al Ghul the whole time and had been infecting Gotham's water supply with his fear toxin. Although we believe at first that a different person was Ras al Ghul. When in point of fact it was Henri Ducard who was Ras al Ghul all along. Batman battles Ras al Ghul on a monorail train, and ultimately beats his mentor. Although Batman refuses to kill Ras al Ghul, he does instead choose not to save him and therefore his death is caused by the destruction and explosion of the monorail train. 

Threshold Guardian (Bruce's parents dying ) - It can be argued that Bruce Wayne must let go of the bitterness he holds within himself about his parents death in order to progress onto the next part of his life. This being the journey to the league of shadows and his training process. The reason the bitterness Bruce holds is impeding him from crossing the threshold is because all he wants to do is get revenge on the man who killed his parents. 

Mentor (Ras al Ghul/Henri Ducard/Alfred) - Its when Bruce Wayne is up in the mountains where he is tought to use fear as a weapon by Henri Ducard, but also teaches Bruce how to fight and how to use the darkness as a tool for beating the villains. It can also be argued that as well as a father figure, Alfred teaches Bruce Wayne valuable life lessons and also keeps him grounded by reminding Bruce of his parents and they're ways. Its almost as if Alfred is trying to ensure that Bruce follows in his Father's footsteps and makes Gotham a better place. 

Allies (Gordan/Lucius) - Gordan is a cop in Batman Begins but soon becomes lieutenant. He is definitely one of the valuable allies that Batman has at his disposal, especially when most other cops in Gotham are crooked or just terrified of dying. Gordan stands strong and works with Batman to not only beat the criminals but to also stop the Police from apprehending Batman. 

Lucius Is also an incredibly helpful ally to Batman, Lucius works in the R&D department at Wayne Enterprises. Bruce/Batman uses his extensive knowledge to help him gather all the armor, gadgetry and vehicular items needed to sustain being the Batman. 

Father (Alfred) - This essentially comes from the fact that Bruce lost his parents. Therefore put simply Alfred replaced his parents and is therefore Bruce's Father figure.

Child (Young Bruce) - Young Bruce is shown as the innocent young child at the start of the film, who is loved by his mother and father. It is shown that he has the perfect life, until it is all snatched away from him. 

Maiden (Rachel) - Rachel Dawes is a district attorney, she was a childhood friend of Bruce's. They have both pretty much grown up to adulthood together. It is Rachel who Bruce is clearly in love with. Coincidentally she is also the person who knows who Batman really is. 

Image Sources 
Fig 1. Batman Begins Movie Poster [poster] At: https://uk.movieposter.com/poster/MPW-13622/Batman_Begins.html Accessed (10/10/2016)

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