This is spoilerific, so if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight, turn back now!
Watching The Dark Knight again last night, I was struck by a poetry in the plotline that hadn’t occurred to me on the first viewing. Reviewing a couple plot points:
- Rachel decides to stay with Harvey, but Alfred ends up hiding that fact from Bruce.
- Bruce thinks Rachel chose him over Harvey, but he hides that fact from Harvey.
- Harvey ends up going crazy, but Gordon and Batman hide that fact from the city.
The idea that ideals serve us better in our imagination than they do in reality pops up over and over in the film. The Dark Knight is about having something to cling to in the face of adversity. That said, the fact that neither boat blows the other up stands out as a place where ideals don’t give way to some greater force or malevolence.