Kathmandu:

Batman Begins is about feeling fear, recognizing fear, overcoming fear and then-best of all-becoming fear. The more convential way of describing Batman Begins is as David Horiuchi puts it,” Batman Begins discards the previous four films in the series and recasts the Caped Crusader as a fearsome avenging angel. That’s good news, because the series, which had gotten off to a rousing start under Tim Burton, had gradually dissolved into self-parody by 1997’s Batman & Robin. As the title implies,Batman Begins tells the story anew, when Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) flees Western civilization following the murder of his parents. He is taken in by a mysterious instructor named Ducard (Liam Neeson in mentor to monster role) and urged to become a ninja in the League of Shadows, but he instead returns to his native Gotham City resolved to end the mob rule that is strangling it.

Co-written by the team of David S. Goyer (a veteran comic book writer) and director Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins is a welcome return to the grim and gritty version of the Dark Knight. It doesn’t have the razzle dazzle, or the mass appeal, of Spider-Man 2 (though the Batmobile is cool), and retelling the origin means it starts slowly, like most “first” superhero movies. But it’s certainly the best Bat-film since Burton’s original, and one of the best superhero movies of its time.Michael Caine provides much of the film’s humor as the family butler, Alfred.”

Christian Bale who prefers dark roles is perfect for Batman but has to hold his own against veterans like Caine and Liam Neeson, and with a blend of mildness and menace, he just about manages. The smaller parts played by Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe and Gary Oldman are upstaged by Bale, Neeson and Caine. Says Micheal Caine,”I imagined Alfred

as an old army sergeant who got wounded and stuck running the mess, then got picked up. He’s like a sergeant telling Bruce what to do.” Bale complained that in all previous films Batman’s villains were more interesting than the hero. Despite beings sinister Cillian Murphy(who auditioned for Batman) as The Scarecrow is not a match for Batman but Liam Neeson somehow manages to became equal to the Caped Crusader and sometimes achieves more memorability. The last words go to Tom Brook, “ In reviewing ‘Batman Begins’ there’s no

argument about one thing - Christopher Nolan has definitely made this latest installment look more real.

Nolan’s intentions with the picture are admirable, he’s aimed high. He and screenwriter David Goyer have wrought a quite complex psychological portrait of Batman’s genesis, tracing his evolution from the young bat-phobic Bruce Wayne to legendary caped figure. But it takes a long time, an hour, for this early story to complete, and it becomes tough to follow. To its credit there’s a lot going on in ‘Batman Begins to gain understanding I had to see part of it twice, and the repeated viewing did make it more satisfying. Once Batman arrives in Gotham City the story becomes more straightforward, but the balance tips as the action becomes more thrill ride than thoughtful.” From a very realistic Bhutanese prison to the Himalayas (Iceland) to Gotham City made up of New York, Chicago and Tokyo, with extraordinary technical details and pop philosophy, a little love alot of action Batman Begins should launch a new more realistic series if everyone has the time and if Batman Begins makes up the USD 150 million spent on it.