(No worries — no spoilers! Only the vaguest references to what happens.)
Like the last Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises has a central bad guy who matches or out-matches our hero. Director and co-screenwriter Christopher Nolan reveals the backstory of the bad guy, named Bane, in increments throughout the movie.
What I thought was remarkable about Bane’s backstory is its mythological nature. The characters in the backstory are archetypal. The characters face challenges that are universal, with both real-world and allegorical senses.
Something about this mythological element makes The Dark Knight Rises richer and more resonant. Any story that could be both factual and psychologically or spiritually allegorical will have stick with the reader.
This seems to have an immediate application to writers, whether they are writing stories or backgrounds within stories. Whether a writer begins with the realistic or the allegorical makes no difference. If the final product can bring both together, then the story will have immediacy and resonance — with a deep sense of meaning.
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