The character I've decided to explore is Bruce Wayne/Batman from the movies Batman Begins and
The Dark Knight, both directed by Christopher Nolan, and staring Christan Bale as the main character. Unlike previous adaptions, Bruce Wayne and Batman are not portrayed as campy, cheesy, characters, as in previous adaptions, but as a man with deep seeded psychological issues.
I remember when, when I first moved here
A long time ago
'cause I heard some song I used to hear back then
A long time ago
I remember when, even further back
In another town
'cause I saw something written I used to say back then
Hard to comprehend
And the question is, was I more alive
Then than I am now?
I happily have to disagree
I laugh more often now, I cry more often now
I am more me
I chose this song by the Swedish group Peter, Bjorn and John because I think it provides a good background to the issues that Bruce Wayne deals with, especially in the first movie, Batman Begins . There are several flashbacks throughout the course of the film to Bruce's childhood, primarily in connection to his relationship to Rachel and the death of his parents. The lyrics in the song are clearly reminiscent, and are easily grafted onto Bruce Wayne's feelings. He moves from a millionaire playboy who cares only for himself to a selfless defender of his city, attempting to follow the footsteps of his father. There is a sense in this song of throwing off the old ways of being and becoming more of your true self, and in the case for Bruce Wayne, becoming Batman allows him to be "more me." He has, in a sense, found his calling in defending Gotham City. When the singer gets to the chorus and sings,"I happily have to disagree/I laugh more often now, I cry more often now/I am more me", there is a forceful nature in his voice that suggests an assertion that things have changed. He is no longer the person who he used to be, and it hard for him to see how he used to be in connection to who he once was. The singer says, 'cause I saw something written I used to say back then/Hard to comprehend." This suggests that even though he can recognize who he used to be, the things he said no longer make sense or coalesce with who he is today. Once Bruce decides to choose a life of crime fighting, he has made a change. He cares about the people of Gotham, and stop his selfish behavior.
You're my playground love
I chose this song by the French band Air to represent Bruce Wayne's relationship with Rachel Dawes, his love from childhood. Even though he appears to participate in the playboy lifestyle, Bruce Wayne is still in love with Rachel. Bruce still has feelings for Rachel. The love between Bruce and Rachel is very innocent. At the beginning of Batman Begins , Rachel has not seen Bruce since childhood. Because of this, there has not been room for corruption of the innocent nature of their relationship. This is why "Playground Love" is such an appropriate song. The love between Bruce and Rachel is still very innocent, like the love described in the song. The instrumentation in the song is piano driven with a string overlay and a very subtle drum beat during the verses. The addition of the saxophone creates a jazzy feel that helps to add to the nostalgia.The combination of lyrics and instrumentation creates a dream-like sound. The lyrics of the song are talking about a childhood love, and the instrumentation with a soft piano driven melody and a singer with a breathy voice creates a feeling of longing between the singer and his object of interest.
'Cause how many times
I have to tell you,
I'm still in love
With you now?
In this song by the Moody Blues, the sentiments expressed by the singer are similar to those expressed by Bruce Wayne towards Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight. In the second movie, Bruce Wayne makes a pleading case to Rachel, telling her that he is still in love with her, but she is involved with the District Attorney Harvey Dent and does not share the same sentiments. Bruce Wayne is faced with the ultimate decision by choosing between the woman that he has loved since childhood and the one person who could he feels can bring peace to Gotham City when The Joker kidnaps both of them and Batman is forced to choose only one of them to save. He chooses to not let his emotions control his decision, and allows Rachel to die. He attempts to save both of them, but is unable to do so. Saving Harvey Dent is more important to Bruce Wayne because it will benefit the citizens of Gotham City far greater than if he were to save Rachel. He does not want the situation to be as painful as it must be, which is why he must say goodbye to Rachel. In the song, the singer's wailing voice is resigned to a fate without the woman he loves. For unexplained circumstances, the singer cannot be with the woman he loves, even though he has told her time and time again how he feels. The piano driven melody combined with the background singers, creates a resounding effect of loss and sadness over a love that can never be.
I was living in a devil town
I didn't know it was a devil town
Oh lord it really brings me down about the devil town
This song by Bright Eyes clearly reflects Bruce Wayne's feelings about Gotham City. Gotham City is a place of hardened criminals, and very little sympathy to be found anywhere. Bruce Wayne, before he becomes Batman, seems oblivious to the extent of the corruption and the need for a hero like Batman. Much like Bruce Wayne, the singer of the song does not realize that that he is living in a "devil town." With criminals like Scarecrow and The Joker, there is very little good to be found among the residents of Gotham City. The instrumentation starts off as being very sparse- with only hand claps accompanying the singer's wailing voice. IT picks up after he sings the first stanza about the devil town. This creates a greater emphasis on the first stanza because there are no other sounds to detract from the voice and what it is saying. When the instrumentation does begin, it uses a slide guitar, piano, and drums to create a somewhat eerie feeling. This is reflective of the nature of Gotham City because of the many dangerous and irrational criminals that plague the streets, especially The Joker. The Joker is able to put on disguises to act like forces of good, such as police officers or nurses, making it hard to see the truth behind the mask.
I know if destiny’s kind, I’ve got the rest of my mind.
But my heart, it don't beat, it don't beat the way it used to.
And my eyes, they don't see you no more.
And my lips, they don't kiss, they don't kiss the way they used to, and my eyes don’t recognize you no more.
For reasons unknown.
I chose this song by The Killers because I believe that both the message and the tone of the song represent the feelings Bruce Wayne experiences throughout the course of both movies, especially in The Dark Knight . Bruce Wayne, in taking on the Batman persona, cannot express emotions the same way he used to. He cannot make decisions based on what he wants to do. Instead, as the protector of Gotham City, he must act in the interest of the people. He allows the woman he loves to die because he believes it is more important to save Harvey Dent for the rest of Gotham. This plan ultimately backfires as Harvey turns into the villain Two Face, but it shows the selflessness exemplified in Batman. However, even though he is a "super hero," Bruce Wayne is not left unaffected. Rachel Dawes tells him shortly before her death not to let her be his only hope for a normal life. However, as Bruce learns by the end of The Dark Knight, it is impossible for him to have a "normal" life like everyone else because he is called to be a superhero and defender of the public
I feel like a quote out of context
Withholding the rest
So I can be for you what you want to see
I got the gesture and sound
Got the timing down
It's uncanny, yeah, you think it was me
In this song by Ben Folds Five, it expresses the struggle Bruce Wayne feels in having a secret identity. He cannot reveal his true identity as the protector of Gotham City, but must instead maintain the playboy persona he once fully embraced. Very few people know of the two-sided nature of Bruce Wayne, and when he attempts to reveal his identity, Harvey Dent takes the fall. Everyone is still convinced that he is the same Bruce Wayne, even though his interior life is quite different. The song is driven by the piano melody and simple instrumentation. The singer's voice is plaintive, and sounds resigned to the fact that he will always have to put on a show for others. He realizes that he for whatever reason is not able show his true self, so he must put on a show for others around him.
It's getting so absurd
Soon everything will turn
It's our time
To see the Sun
There'll be a crack
And our day will come
Maybe then we'll be the ones
You never can be sure
The shot heard 'round the world
This song by Guster shows the aspirations that Batman has for the new order of justice he is attempting to bring to Gotham City. During the two movies, things are at a breaking point within the criminal underground, and Batman is the only one who is able to prevent complete pandemonium. Other people attempt to make things right, like Commissioner Gordon, Rachel Dawes, and Harvey Dent, but none of these people are able to accomplish what Bruce Wayne can do. He has vast financial resources which aid in his superhero abilities. He takes on these actions in order to bring a new world order to Gotham, and hope that his day will come with justice prevailing in Gotham City. The strong guitar chords in this song help to reflect a sense of purpose and determination, which is seen in Batman's actions. The singer does not show any hesitation in his voice, which is also true of Bruce Wayne in his actions. He relies on other people to aid him in his heroic pursuits, but he ultimately is the one held responsible for the well-being of Gotham City and its residents.
I don't hear a sound
Silent faces in the ground
The quiet screams, but I refuse to listen
If there is a hell
I'm sure this is how it smells
Wish this were a dream, but no, it isn't
This song reflects the reluctance that Bruce Wayne faces in taking on the Batman persona. Even though he knows it is the right thing for him to do, he still struggles with his decisions, and experiences the loss of people he loves. Bruce Wayne is not a happy man. He appears to have everything anyone could want- money, women, power, but inside, he struggles with the loss of people that mean a great deal to him. The strong piano chords and the slow melody throughout this song emphasize a feeling of sadness, and the repetition of "walk, in the rain" creates a great feeling of loss.
And a song just for fun...