Wednesday, 15 February 2012
Batman Returns 
If Batman was dark and violent, with Batman Returns Tim Burton took superhero movies to places hitherto unimaginable. This is a twisted, demented, disturbing, and well, a macabre take on the something that, till then, used to be considered a genre tailor-made for teenagers. Batman isn’t just relegated to play a supporting role here, he’s more of a dull and minor character at best – and that probably remains the film’s biggest flaw. But that apart, it worked astoundingly well at various levels. We have two incredibly sketched and portrayed villainous characters here, with an interesting third thrown in for good measures. On one hand there is the uncouth, grotesque and vengeful, yet quietly melancholic, Penguin Man (powerfully played by Danny De Vito), who was abandoned at birth for his physical deformity – despite the fact that he’s one of the bad guys according to the classical definition of a villain, I found the scene where he dies really moving; and on the other there is the dangerously seductive, unpredictable and mentally damaged Cat Woman (played with striking panache by Michelle Pfeiffer). Michael Keaton returned in the titular role of the Caped Crusader, but he hardly had much to do here with or without the cowl. Though a ‘Good versus Evil’ story on the surface, the line between the two has been so blurred here that it’s nearly indistinguishable. Consequently what we have is a subtly profound commentary on society’s obsessions with outwardly looks, and how the inner self doesn’t really matter if one’s physical appearance doesn’t conform to what the society wants. Brilliantly scored and nicely photographed, this is one superhero film I would never recommend any minor to.
Director: Tim Burton
Genre: Action/Horror/Superhero Film