Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises dream theory

How many of you think The Dark Knight Rises movie is tricking you into believing the ending? Showing moviegoers the dream ending is consistent with Alfred's wish to see Bruce Wayne happy. The Dark Knight Rises dream theory will decipher the Alfred cafe scene.

There is a high probability the Alfred cafe scene is a dream. Of course, we realize Alfred explains to Bruce the exact time and cafe he dines at. Nonetheless, Bruce is flustered that Alfred shared Rachel's true feelings in a note, even indicating he disposed of the evidence.

Was Bruce convinced with Alfred's dream? Would Bruce Wayne show up at the cafe many months later to show he is alive? Focus on the Alfred cafe scene. We hear music to dramatize the reveal. Bruce Wayne returns a happy gesture to honor Alfred. Alfred shows slight emotion, but nothing out of the ordinary.

We see Alfred crying at Bruce Wayne's private funeral. He also cries after Bruce dismisses him. Would Alfred suppress his emotions at the Italian cafe? Where was Alfred while Bruce suffered in the pit?

Alfred is missing between the turning point and the ending. Alfred apologizes to the Wayne parents. He admits to letting them down, as their young son has passed. Alfred feels responsible.

Would it be too random for Bruce to survive the atomic blast? Months later, Bruce and Selina fine at the Italian cafe at the exact time Alfred is there.

We have all watched cliche ending? It is too predictable to show several clues, and then finish with a happy ending in the Italian cafe. At no time, in the Italian scene, do we see Bruce's point of view. We know the Italian is Alfred's final scene. Fox, Gordon, and Blake had their moments.

Selina is not the focus. It wouldn't make sense to show this ending is a dream with showing Rachel. It is way too obvious. We realize exposition is unnecessary to tell us an answer.

Watch the scene closely. Analyze the movement, mood, lighting, gestures, emotion, and whether Selina is obvious to the moviegoers. How many movie viewers question the identity of the woman? Would Bruce escape his life as Batman to retire? To find happiness? To live his life?

Bruce never stated he wanted happiness. He never made an excuse to give up. Could Bruce be planning ahead? Why does he deceive Gordon and Selina on the autopilot?

Does Bruce know he has autopilot? According to a mechanic, Bruce repaired the autopilot 6 months ago. Most moviegoers are sure Bruce knows he has autopilot. They'll say autopilot is mentioned.

Nolan's Batman movies are about hope. We hope Bruce Wayne survives? Are you 100% sure Alfred is not dreaming? Is Selina that recognizable to confirm reality? Is she really wearing the pearl necklace?

In the Italian cafe, we need to see from Alfred's perspective, his point of view. Not change does this scene switch to another point of view. Think back to the previous scenes, which every main character makes a discovery to establish hope. Alfred is the most important person to Bruce.

The movie ends with a cliffhanger. Is John Blake the new hero rising to become Nightwing? Robin? Batman? The cliffhanger makes you think about possibilities.

The Alfred scene at the Italian cafe is a dream. Would Bruce fake his death to find happiness? Was retirement on his mind? How much does Bruce trust autopilot? Should Alfred show more emotion? Would Nolan reveal multiple clues? End the movie on reality to validate the clues?

The Italian cafe in The Dark Knight Rises ending is a dream. This Alfred scene is all about his point of view. He wants so badly to see Bruce happy. Showing Rachel in the scene does not make sense, especially since doing do will confirm the dream. We have to fill in the voids.

In Frank Miller's The Dark Knight, Alfred dies and Bruce Wayne fakes his death. Could we view the Italian cafe as Alfred's last dream?

The Italian cafe scene shows that Alfred is focused on Bruce. Alfred never sees Selina. This cafe scene is intended to give moviegoers hope. Alfred's point-of-view explains he wants to see Bruce Wayne happy.

What you think? Dream scene? Reality?


  1. I think it is a dream but then again that is the point, it is an open ended scene that throws it back to the audience. Most people don't want to believe that Batman/Bruce Wayne chose to sacrifice himself and die. We don't like our heroes dying and most people believe it is real not a dream. I would like to believe it is a real but Alfred doesn't react like it is real. Then again what if it is real and Alfred is so disillusioned and it takes it to be one of his dream? (that would be highly unlikely because Bruce would call him back)

    Nah I don't think so, I think it is a dream and Batman/Bruce Wayne died. I think Blake is going to be the reincarnation of Batman because it has been emphasised in the film that batman could be anyone and it is about being a symbol to Gotham. So Blake in this telling of the Batman story by Nolan becomes Nightwing or Batman the new hero of Gotham and Bruce Wayne is dead.

    However most will believe it is not a dream and Alfred is seeing Bruce for real because we WANT to believe he is alive and happy like Alfred in his dream.

    1. @Karl,

      You're right that most people refuse to believe Bruce is dead. They would rather look to vague clues.

      Alfred shared his fantasy with Bruce. The Bruce/Alfred scene is very convincing, especially when we see the fantasy reproduced in the cafe ending.

      Whenever a person retires, they want to return back to their glory days. Keeping Bruce Wayne on the sidelines will make his heroism rather weak.

      There is no rule to killing a major character. They can bring back Bruce Wayne in another series. People will begin criticizing those who disagree with the majority.

      If the Italian cafe scene is obvious, then many moviegoers would not search for the dream ending. It is not a straightforward scene. We are left with puzzle pieces that don't fit. Therefore, we have to make the clues fit.

      Employing the dream in the end is effective to explain hope. If the Nolan brothers left out Alfred's speaking of his fantasy or inserted a deceased character in the scene, then we would have an obvious dream.

      However, we must interpret the Italian cafe ending to debunk the clues like apparitions. Is alfred dreaming/fantasizing/imagining/hallucinating? Or is Alfred seeing the truth? Dream symbols can determine the realism. The cafe reminds us the Inception cafe whether Cobb questions reality.

      What is reality? The Matrix challenges the real world. It is what we want our minds to think. We can dream tonight, watching us maneuver in a story with people we never met. These people are projections or they are not real.

      Most will come up with these elaborate stories on how they think Bruce Wayne survived the atomic blast. If they believe Bruce Wayne is alive, then they have strong faith he wants to hang up his cape to find a new life with Selina. Selina is not an instrumental part of the dream. Many people have searched for the identity of the woman next to Bruce.

      We never see another POV. Alfred is controlling the scene. He is seeing what he wants to view. Bruce is happy. The cafe scene is not convincing, even with autopilot, pearls, Bat signal, and Blake's bag.

      Thanks for commenting. Good discussion.

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