Last night a friend and I swooped down to a cinema in the modern heart of Latvia's capital city, Riga. We went to the shiny new multiplex cinema to see the new Christopher Nolan Batman movie: The Dark Knight.
I'm not going to give any of the plot away; no spoilers here so it's safe to read on. I don't want to ruin the film for you and I don't want to get sued so it makes sense to steer clear! The movie is a blast. a fantastic follow up to the first Christopher Nolan Batman movie, Batman Begins.
It's a movie that raises questions and is constantly trying to answer those questions whilst posing further and further questions. It's no surprise that a non-official book about Batman and philosophy has been released in 2008. There are so many questions about good, identity, morality, faith, hope, justice, tolerance, etc, etc, etc, the list just keeps going....
One theme that follows on from the last movie into this film is the question of who the Batman actually is.... We, the audience know it's Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), but most of the inhabitants of Gotham city have no clue.
That's a fascinating concept, an intriguing suggestion; doing all the hard work for none of the glory. Like serving meals on wheels, or being the cashier's assistant at a local community finance initiative, or being one of those people who pray for the persecuted Christian's they hear about in books and at conferences.
A not so recent phenomena is that of the celebrity endorsement for a charity or for a certain work. It's fantastic. When we see a footballer from the Premiership doing a street workshop with some inner-city youth, or when we see a movie actress visiting a small school in Ethiopia. They are raising awareness for the charity, I'm not interested in hearing about the positive impact on their celebrity status, let's not detract from good work for the sake of cynicism.
What is better though, is the millions slipping their pennies into the charity envelopes, the countless people who will never get to visit that school, or who can't teach kids positive footballing skills.
And it's worth remembering (when we're drained from effort, or frustration, or lack of thanks, or emptiness) that Batman wears a mask. The people of Gotham don't know who he is but they know he's there. Those who strive to keep community organisations going, or who support charities in everyday ways may not get much recognition, but the charities and the community organisations know who they are!
Besides all that; the movie is fabulous, terrifying at times, but fabulous.