Character Review - Rachel Dawes

 Two stars: The Dark Knight's most formidable nemesis

Depending on what her face looks like, Rachel Dawes shifts from film-length moods of either combatively moralistic (“How dare you want your parents’ murderer to be punished!”) or apathetic and ditzy ("Jesus, Harvey, don’t make a big deal out of that guy in the courtroom who almost murdered you"). Either way, she is mildly annoying.  But she is much more than that. She is a villainess. She is a femme fatale. She is Batman's greatest psychological foe. Even after years of her absence from his life and his very memory of her continues to dictate his entire life.

She is a master manipulator who incepted an impression of her into the Dark Knight's mind as the personification of paradise's salvation. To him, she is his own personal messiah. A bang-able Jesus Christ who can deliver him from all the suffering in his life, both real and imagined. And she feeds this belief in him and uses it to control the trajectory of his life. 

"I am an angel, Bruce. Do my biding." 

She maintains that she has always been interested in him, but before they can be together, he has to make a few adjustments. After he meets every one of her demands, she makes a new one. No matter how many times this happens, he continues to do anything she asks. Literally, anything. 

-She says she wants him to look past his own pain and see the suffering of others. He lives in starving poverty for years.

-She tells him that execution outside of the law is wrong. He refuses to kill even the most dangerous terrorists when it will save millions of lives.

-She tells him to be more socially conscious. He reveals that he is Batman.

-She tells him she will be with him if he can grow past being Batman. He promises to stop being Batman. 

-She tells him he will always feel like being Batman and rejects him for Two-Face.

-She dies. He refuses to go outside of his house for years.

 

"Someday Bruce. Maybe if you were just the President and Batman or something." 

If she had just explained to him early-on that she kind of liked him but she liked other people more, Batman would have lived a more satisfying life. But she didn’t. She wants to own the very soul of one of Gotham's most powerful men, noblest heros and psychologically vulnerable nice guys. She wanted to palm his happiness in her hand and throw it back and forth like a yo-yo. She wanted to play with his will to live and keep him attached for years while she dated Gotham’s most talked-about new politician. That way, if things didn’t work out with the White Knight, she could always settle for marrying the Dark one who happens to be a billionaire.

Batman, you should look at this whole situation from arm's length and realize that not everything the Joker did was all that bad. 


-Taylor

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