I went to see The Dark Knight Rises with my husband on Friday. There were uniformed police officers at the door, but the theater was packed and the tone was—all things considered—not at all grim.
Granted, the movie’s themes of violence and vigilantism were much, much weightier and disturbing considering the tragedy surrounding opening night.
I went in to grab seats while Christian bought sodas. The theater was packed and it looked like it would be impossible to find two seats together. A pack of teenage boys sprawled across two back rows. I did the universal sign for “Are those all saved?” and turned around to find something on the front row when they told me they were. I was halfway down the stadium-seating steps when one of the boys caught up to me and grabbed my arm. They’d rearranged to give us two seats together. Not a big deal. But actually kind of a huge deal.
Jeff Jensen’s (spoiler filled) review explains the way The Dark Knight Rises reflects the unease of our time. We find ourselves weary here in the post 9/11 United States. There’s a lot to be scared of and it seems like it will take a lot to fix it. But within this context of unease, I think small acts such as giving up seats in a theater become even more important.
That’s why I love super heroes. I love them because I believe that good and evil are at odds. I love it when people do their best, when they are principled, stick up for others, fling webs, stop bad guys, are not selfish or mean. I love it when they rally.
I believe in Batman because I am Batman. I think raising kids is heroic. I think being kind and fair is heroic. I think moving over for someone in a movie theater is heroic. I don’t have Bruce Wayne money or Batman gear, but I am trying. Really, so many people are trying. And if you’ve got a bunch of people trying you’ve got yourself a Justice League and that gives me a lot of hope.