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With The Dark Knight Rises now out on Blu-ray and DVD, critics and movie fans have resurrected the conversation about the controversial conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. In just the past week, a newly released featurette has given insight into the film's most talked about fight scene, and an "honest" trailer humorously pointed out a plethora of its plot holes, including the curious final sequence.
You remember. It seems that Batman has dashed out of Gotham with the bomb meant for its destruction, and that he dies doing so. But but but! Then Alfred's shown at a quaint formerly established café, where he spends his vacations, and there he spots Bruce alive and well with Selena Kyle, coincidentally enjoying a lovely meal just yards away. Some have accused this scene of being schmaltzy and sentimental. Others found it a satisfying and much-hoped for happy ending for the Dark Knight. And still others insisted that a la Inception, this part of the film was just a dream, a wishful figment of Alfred's grief-stricken mind. To this last theory, Alfred himself—well, Michael Caine—basically says bollocks!
When speaking with the LA Times, Caine was confronted by this fan-spawned scenario, and his response was as follows:
“They were there. They were real. There was no imagination. They were real and he was with Anne, the cat lady, and I was happy ever after for him as I told him during the picture.”
First off, I love that Michael Caine calls Catwoman "Cat Lady," a foible I admittedly would scorn just about anyone else for. But beyond that, he has a pretty clear answer. Of course, this is just his perspective, and while it's interesting that the actor playing Alfred totally believes in this ending, that doesn't mean you're wrong if you don't. I unabashedly adore Caine for all his sass and old man cantankerousness, but his perspective shouldn't influence yours. Once you've seen a movie, it's yours to interpret however you like. So, if you prefer your Dark Knight dead but self-sacrificing rather than alive and far from Gotham, believe it.