Guy Cry Cinema
Why The Dark Knight Rises Makes Guys Cry

Firefilm | 26 Aug 2014 19:00
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First, Alfred's personal pain is explored through his recurring café fantasy. During Bruce's seven-year absence, Alfred took a yearly vacation to Italy (you know, to steal some gold and escape in a Mini Cooper) and daydreamed about catching a glimpse of Bruce nearby enjoying a peaceful life. This scenario is often misunderstood as Alfred saying "I fantasize about you being happy," but what he's really saying to Bruce by revealing this to him is, "I often think you would have a better life if you weren't Bruce Wayne."

Watching a boy with survivor's guilt become an angry young man obsessed with becoming a martyr is not easy. Alfred's fantasy isn't peace for Bruce so much as relief from the pain of being that child, that adolescent, and that man. What's worse is that Alfred was charged with raising him to be a worthy heir to the family name and as good a man as his father, and now Alfred has completely given up on that responsibility and admitted that it would be better if Bruce never returned from his walkabout. And Michel Caine sells his sorrow SO HARD that we cry with him.

Immediately thereafter is the Rachel thread (pronounced RACHEL!!!!!!!!!). Michael "Austin Powers' Fasha" Caine knows that before blowing up, she chose Two-Face over Batman, but out of respect and love for Bruce he keeps this secret. Throughout the series it's all but spoken aloud that Alfred thinks of Bruce as his adopted son. Ever a faithful butler and father-figure, Alfred has supported Bruce through every seemingly-whacko endeavor thus far, even if he didn't always approve. But after realizing how self-destructive Bruce has become, Alfred has no choice but to reveal Rachel's intentions. Whether blinded by the threat of Bane, or the revelation that Rachel didn't want to settle down and have Bat-kids, Bruce fires Alfred, which is comparable to firing your dad. In the words of Mike Myers, I'm getting a little verklempt.

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