Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alfred dream sequence explained

In the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, the ending is open-ended. Alfred narrates his fantasy, sharing his desire to see Bruce happy. He states that if Bruce continues on with his Batman affair, his life will lead down a dark path. We see a mind flash projecting the vivid cafe imagery.

Alfred describes the fantasy in detail. The movie end reveals the same cafe, but this time moviegoers are expected to believe in the obvious. We intend to show evidence that in this cafe scene, Alfred is dreaming about Bruce's happiness.

***Movie Spoiler***

The Dark Knight Rises ending shows Alfred dining at an Italian cafe. He briefly glances over, discovering that Bruce Wayne is sitting at a distant table. Next to Bruce Wayne, we see Selina Kyle wearing a pearl necklace. However, Bruce is the center of attention. Alfred watches his happiness. We never see Selina's face, but we safely identify the woman as the former Catwoman. The Italian cafe scene is tricky.

Can Alfred be dreaming about Bruce's happiness? The common argument we hear most is that Alfred is not dreaming since he knows nothing about Selina. Moreover, Selina is wearing the same exact pearl necklace that is missing from the Wayne Estate. In the movie setup, Selina steals the pearl necklace. Nonetheless, Bruce reclaims the pearl necklace again at Miranda's party. It is possible that Alfred is dreaming.  

All humans have sleeping dreams. Alfred can dream about a woman he knows nothing about. Alfred knows that Bruce Wayne refuses to contact the police to report the stolen pearl necklace. As we learn later, Selina collected Bruce's fingerprints and sold them another man, whose identity is revealed as a Wayne board member.

Alfred pokes fun at the female thief, telling Bruce that maybe we should invite her to have coffee. He also sees Selina working as a maid working at Wayne's party. As dreamers, we don't have to make contact with another person to dream about them. Our subconscious records the surroundings to later project in a dream. These are strong clues to suggest the Italian cafes scene is a dream.

We see a calm Alfred watching Bruce. Bruce returns the gesture to his butler. We know that Gordon, Blake, and Alfred attended Bruce Wayne's funeral. Alfred cried a river of tears, apologizing to the Wayne parents for letting them down. We all know that Alfred wanted Bruce to find happiness. He even revealed to Bruce that Rachel left a note behind to express her love for Harvey Dent. In result of this news, Bruce dismisses Alfred as his butler. It is an emotional scene that reveals the cafe fantasy.

Alfred always hoped Bruce would appear at a table. His dream is for Bruce to escape Batman to find happiness. Alfred narrates the cafe, which we see Alfred sitting in his usual table. He looks over at another table, hoping that Bruce is there. It is this a coincidence? Are the Nolan brothers encoding clues we must later decode? Do we really need several clues and an Italian cafe scene to convince us that a person is alive?

The Italian cafe scene is too predicable. Moviegoers argue that Bruce faked his death to escape with Selina to Italy, where the two of them can live a new life. They accomplished this Europe trip using Clean Slate. How does Batman eject out of the Bat plane to escape the atomic blast. We've heard claims that Batman is briefly inside the Bat plane. He abandons the Bat plane prior to firing missiles at skyline buildings to make a path.

The Italian cafe scene is dismissed as reality. Moviegoers suggest Alfred is incapable of dreaming about Selina. They claim that to validate the dream, Alfred must dream of Rachel and or another woman. The problem with this dream sequence is that dreaming about Rachel is thus conformation it is dream.

Does Christopher Nolan makes his movies that simple to interpret? Nolan stated in an interview the Inception ending is anything you want it to be. He hoped that viewers who have children like himself would believe Cobb returns to his children. Inception is a lucid dreaming/heist movie that ends with reality.

The Dark Knight Rises ending is full of plot twists. We see one major twist ending that is identified as a twist ending. "Robin" John Blake is revealed as the next protector of Gotham City. The debate goes on, as the majority accept that Bruce Wayne is alive. We can suggest that Alfred can dream about Selina. She is never seen front and center, instead she is facing Bruce. Bruce never tells Alfred anything regarding the pearl necklace.  Alfred makes a comment that implies that just you are going home Master Bruce.

The Italian cafe is shot in bright colors. As we know, Italy is an artsy country. Pastel colors are expected to project the Italian cafe. One problem we find is that moviegoers discredit the dream with the mere fact this Batman movie isn't Inception, Alfred can't dream about Selina, and she is wearing the missing pearls.

Can we dream about people we never meet? Nolan is a dream master. He is not a dream expert, but he has conducted dream research to write Inception. He knows how to end a movie to make us think. The Dark Knight Rises ending is making us think about the Italian cafe scene.

We believe Bruce is dead. He died in the atomic blast to save Gotham. A private funeral is held to honor the generous hero. Alfred is dreaming about Bruce's happiness. Why would Alfred not dream about Bruce? He is grieving for a young man (Bruce Wayne) that he has known a very long time. He desired to see Bruce happy, finally reaching a life he deserves most.

The constant theme we see resonating in the film is that Bruce Wayne as Batman has given everything to Gotham, so it is not time for him to retire. In retirement, Bruce can escape Batman to enjoy his happiness. Wanting to retire and loving Selina are two arguments that reject the dream notion.

Alfred left Bruce behind, alone in the dark, albeit Bruce repays his butler and former guardian's loyalty with a handsome inheritance. Bruce never lost hope in Alfred. He believed in Alfred, despite learning of the Rachel note. Bruce probably realized that abandoning Batman would compromise Gotham's fate. Bruce Wayne understands that he can choose one - to save Gotham or himself.

Bruce Wayne makes the sacrifice as Batman for the greater of good. His troubled past is now put to rest. Through his death, he can find peace. If Bruce is alive, then he may desire to return back to Gotham again to fight crime. What happens when Gotham is in trouble? Will John Blake be able to handle Gotham alone?

The dream sequence is highly possible. Nolan sets the tone, as there is no dream rule in movies. Many directors have taken the dream route to honor a memory. It is fitting to use a dream to pay tribute to noble man. Bruce is a real knight that put his dark past to rest. We don't see Bruce Wayne leaving with Selina Kyle to start a new beginning in Europe. The final clues are enough to imply that Bruce Wayne is alive. However, the cafe scene raises the question that this is possibly Alfred's dream. Alfred accepts that Bruce is happy.

The Dark Knight Rises may in fact end with  a dream. Dreamers can dream about another person. The Italian cafe scene doesn't show any indication to suggest Bruce and Selina are a couple. We can dream about a person we never met. Our subconscious mind records motion as we see it. Unless we are lucid dreaming, we have no control over our dreams. We don't remember the beginning of our dreams.

Alfred is dreaming that his Master Bruce is happy. He grieves for Bruce. If Alfred would see Bruce alive in real life, he would show more emotion such as a slight tear or watery eyes. The cafe scene seems out of place. It is almost a reproduction of Alfred's previous cafe fantasy. We intend to evaluate the Italian scene further, pointing out dream symbols and clues that can validate the dream sequence.

What do you think about the Italian cafe scene? It is a dream? Fantasy? Hallucination? Reality? Share your comments below.   

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