Post Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, we had imagined that there would never be a better joker, hardly did we imagine the finding a more suitable Batman would be the bigger challenge for the film industry. We are thankful to Hollywood for giving us another Joker (Joaquin Phoenix) who came at par with late actor Heath Ledger but where is Batman?
Christian Bale has not only set a standard for Bruce Wayne/ Batman he has also managed to outdo prior actors who have earlier played the character. When Christian Bale wears the Batsuit, drives Batmobile, walks around in his Wayne mansion, even order a waiter to adjust the tables, he arrives with the mannerism, as if he got the role of his lifetime. The entire DC Comics craze had been reintroduced by Nolan-Bale collaborative effort.
Prior to 2005, the only time Batman caught our interest had been in animated films such as Flashpoint Paradox, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond: The Return Of Joker to name a few. The popularity of this superhero had been at an ebb. Out of all Nolan's screen narratives, The Dark Knight trilogy had been relatively easier. It only takes a second watch to get another theoretical perspective on Batman. Nolan's Batman had strictly adhered to the morals of the comics.
Bruce Wayne hated guns, and despite breaking jurisdiction, he firmly believed in law and order. Batman holds two morals; never use a gun, and never take a person's life. A consciousness he had developed after the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne whose lives were taken without their consent with the help of a gun. It was at that moment when the pearls of Martha Wayne hit the street, in those dark alleys of Gotham City, Batman was born.
It was Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale who brought the spirit of the DC Comics back on screen. Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman may have witnessed an excellent gross collection, however, in the live-action films, they failed to adhere to the spirit of DC Comics, when they parted ways with darkness, and basically tried to follow Marvel's method; Jokes, comic timing, the superhero fights the villain, the good guy wins, bad guy dies, message received.
In one of the shot sequences of The Dark Knight, the Joker consciously comes in front of a bike-ridden Batman and mutters, 'Come on, come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it,' and on the opposite direction, an angry Batman, controls his strong strong urge to kill the Joker, as he is the believer of law. He crushes his teeth, falls down from the bike, but does not kill the man who terrorised his city.
You cannot imagine Batman without Bale. He balanced his character with the right amount of bratty behavior and morals of the caped crusader. He inspired the town, found his own fanbase, but never encouraged the actor of lawlessness. A morality was lost in DC Comics, when The Joker hit the tinsel town. (Literally.)
Unlike Joaquin Phoenix's Joker, Bale kept his moral right. Even in the worst of times, he did not allow anarchy to take over the narrative and firmly stood by law and order. Even if it did, that did not come with glorification. Both Joker and Batman spoke with brutal honesty to each other, however, Bale rewarded us with the wisdom of Batman when he chose to be the villain for the citizens of Gotham. Meanwhile, Joker (in 2019) became the hero for terrorizing the town.