Forget everything we know about the man in a bat suit, aka Bruce Wayne.
Do we know him by a certain curve of lips? Do we know him by haunting eyes? Do we know him by his physical strength? Do we know him by showing off his nipples on the suit?
Set aside whatever pre-conceived knowledge we had gathered before on how Batman should be presented in a film format. Throw away our ruined imagination on the richest superhero of all, thanks-but-no-thanks to dizzying and too-colorful style spilled by Joel Schumacher.
This is the beginning of how a man can become a superhuman, and his own being is a choice of conscience, not simply fated. In this aptly-titled prequel, Christopher Nolan cleverly drops any hints how Bruce Wayne is destined to be what he wants people know him to be. This smart director, although having to sacrifice his signatural style stamped on his earlier works, lays bare Wayne’s struggle before triumphing and conquering his biggest obstacle in life: fear.
So much emphasis is put on the subject of fear itself that for slightly more than half of the duration is dedicated to showing Wayne’s past not often exposed in many previous renditions of his alter ego. Initially a child living on his paranoia over many things as a result of his parents’ death that he witnesses himself, he grows up being a juvenile searching for his own faith while constantly trapped in his own freight. This long journey ends in some secluded area in Far East where he gets trained to assassinate the injustice in the world, without even knowing that injustice has many multifaceted appearances that can be deceiving.
Thus, slowly but surely, a hero is born. For the first time.
At this point of time, we get to know the circle of life that Bruce Wayne has to go through and complete before he dons himself in a bat suit. Painful, hurtful and never an easy feat, all these elements give the film a serious and heavyweight look. However, the result does justice on how a film based on comic gets a dramatic treatment on the right dose. After all, being a superhero does not mean having to be fantastically living in fantasy. The real world he lives in is the world of those multilayered crimes where one crime may kill another, and his good act may not be perceived as a good deed by his own conflicted being.
The journey does not stop here, for we just get to see the birth.
And thus, this is how Batman Begins.