Questions on the morality and ethics of Nolan's protagonists

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Joined: September 2013
Hi, for my A2 Film Studies Coursework I am looking into the morality and ethics of the protagonists in Christopher Nolan films, specifically The Dark Knight Trilogy, Memento and The Prestigue. The coursework requires some form of questionnaire or interview, so detailed responses would come highly appreciated. Spoilers follow and even if you haven't seen all of the films covered, I'd still enjoy hearing your thoughts on the ones you have.

1. Would you say Bruce Wayne / Batman does more harm than good for the people of Gotham? You could pretty easily say that he never effectively stopped The Joker until the ending (bringing up the argument that they depend on each other), resorted to terrorist tactics such as rough interrogation and hacking into moblile phones, damaged several buildings with the Tumbler, encouraged several villains simply by existing and hid for eight years. While personally I lean on the side that he does more good than harm, though when you consider that most of the criminals are just poor people, large donations might have been an easier solution rather than just pummeling on them.

2. Would you consider Leonard Shelby a good man? While he still believes that he is hunting down his wife's killer, in actuality he's only tricked himself in order to give himself purpose. It's suggested that he has already killed someone "innocent" before in the film's ending/begining, so should he considered a serial killer, or someone just trying to save his wife?

3. Christian Bale's and Hugh Jackman's characters in The Prestigue are pretty much opposites, the first truly gifted and awkward and the other less talented but more of a showman. As they each become more successful, they can't resist trying to show the other one up, resulting in some violent and dark consequences. They sacrifice several things (lovers, fingers, morality) in order to get ahead, but do you think that they lost themselves in the process or brought out the best in each other. What I mean is that they both strived for success, but without this competition would they have got so far?

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The science of phrenology is crucial to understanding the separation of our two species.

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Joined: September 2013
I don't really understand how it applies, or what the two species are which you refer to, but thanks for the reply.

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1. I think, while his methods are morally questionable, he does instill hope into the people of Gotham and motivate them to do something to save their city.

In Batman Begins, Jim Gordon had all but given up and succumbed to the notion that the bad guys (the mob) run the city. Batman instilled in him the belief that the war can still be won. He inspires Harvey Dent's character. Joker says so at the beginning of the kitchen scene..."A year ago, these cops and lawyers wouldn't dare cross any of you. What happened? Your balls drop off?" and "Dent's only the beginning..."

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