Unmasking The Dark Knight Rises: Finding Secrets and Lies

Curator's Note

Christopher Nolan’s visual touches throughout The Dark Knight Rises help both conceal and reveal more about the characters as the narrative progresses.  Nolan keeps tight close-ups on the characters as they interact, having the audience peer through the camera on to the actors faces, creating a sense of concealment for the viewer.  Not only does hero Batman (Christian Bale) use a mask to conceal his identity, the villain, Bane (Tom Hardy), has to wear a hand constructed mask to survive.  It is later revealed Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) has been concealing a secret identity and is the one responsible for the near-destruction of Gotham City.   During their first confrontation, Bane cripples Batman and rips off his cowl as a symbol of his triumph: the Batman is defeated.  By losing their masks, the heroes become better people.  Without their masks, the villains are destroyed.  When Batman finally triumphs over Bane, he does so by puncturing Bane’s breathing apparatus and, thus, removing his mask.


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