So you went out to watch Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Many of us liked it, many of us didn’t. Critics bashed the movie for lacking a soul, for showing just hours of mindless action and being humourless and dark. Now some of you might agree with it, and it’s all a matter of personal opinion. Some might think that it’s a dark gritty comic book movie not meant to appease the critics. No matter which side you are on, the movie did draw out some pretty intense response. But we here at Inspire2rise want to go deeper and today we will try to find the real meaning behind Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now this may nowhere be near what the director might have originally intended, but this is something that we concluded from our own observation and repeated viewings of this film.
Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice: The real meaning
Now let’s start from the start.
Young Bruce sees his parents being killed and is traumatized from this incident. He has reasons to believe that there’s no good in this world and given a chance people always end up being bad. This is further stated when he has a discussion with Alfred on how many good people stayed good in his 20 years of crime fighting in Gotham. The Batman we see is not the young and idealistic Batman which Nolan and Bale gave us. He is a Batman who has now understood and accepted that no matter how much weed he draws out from the society there will always be more. He has understood the futility of his actions and crime fighting. So he has resorted to using lethal force which was something his younger self would have never identified with.
Let’s shift the discussion to Alexander “Lex” Luthor. He appears as a psychotic, obsessed person hell-bent on killing Superman. But beneath that crazy exterior is another traumatized child who never understood the concept of a universal saviour, in this case Superman. He questions his goodness and presence when he asks where was he when he was getting a beating from his father, or when other wrongs were happening. In a cynical and crazy world Lex Luthor represents the extreme, the result of a world that’s afraid to trust anyone and their intentions or to even believe that someone could be that good.
So Lex tries to justify his thinking by delivering the God i.e. Superman to death and thereby nullifying anything his character might stand for or just to show that he’s not all good-by making him act evil or portraying him as such.
Let’s talk about Superman himself.
There’s a reason why this film is called as the sequel to Man of Steel. Man of Steel showcased Superman embracing his gift and becoming a source of inspiration for the people and accepting his role as whatever the people need him to be. But Dawn of Justice shows him in a different light.
Superman here is confused. He believes that every human being can be a force for good. He represents hope and goodness but is confused when other humans and their actions leads the masses to believe that he’s the one who’s wrong.
In a world where there’s no absolute good Superman is revered as a messianic figure by some and everyone else isn’t ready to believe that someone with so much power could be that good. This is shown when Bruce, who is Batman, a hero doesn’t believe his intentions and considers that Superman is a threat as he is also jaded with his long fights, years of crime fighting and just like the cynical and mad world he has inadvertently changed into a character he always despised.
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourselves become the villain!”
In the major fight between Batman and Superman, Superman has just returned after being threatened by Lex Luthor that his mother would be killed in case he didn’t kill Batman.
He finally understands that why Batman acts the way he is. He understands that the world that they are in now has no place for absolute good and that’s why Batman has become the way he is over the years. He understands it and appeals to the hero inside Batman to look past what is visible to him and understand that Superman is not the threat here.
Finally when Batman is about to annihilate Superman and when the latter is at his weakest he realizes that Superman also is a normal person like him, who has someone to care about (Lois Lane) and a mother who’s about to die at the hands of a villain. He understands that Superman is also like a normal person just with extreme powers and he too has his weaknesses like everyone and despite of his supreme powers and no obedience to anyone he chooses to be the hero he is every single moment of his life.
This is a turning point for Batman as at this exact moment he realizes he has become like the same world he always abhorred and he never understood that while fighting crime and severe people like the Joker he maybe turned into a cynic like them.
This change of personality is evident when Batman goes forth to save Martha Kent, Clark’s mother and till the end when he doesn’t brand Lex Luthor with his Bat Mark.
This movie is not just another Superhero movie rather a critique on the concepts of absolute power and absolute good in a world where no one trusts anyone else. It’s a transformation for Batman i.e. Bruce Wayne to become his more idealistic self and a movie which shows how far Man of Steel would uphold his notion of goodness.
In a cinematic landscape where we have so many churn and burn movies, it’s hard to appreciate a film which showcases this moral dilemma between sticking with the good and going with the flow to become like the world and changing times.
Well, this was my 2 cents. Have something more to add? Then don’t forget to add it in the comments section below.
And no matter what you do my friends,
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