There’s no doubt that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was an amazing film — one that managed to become both a critical and mainstream sensation. It was The Godfather Part II of comic book movies, and no matter what followed, it would have had a hard time living up to that performance.
Still, Nolan came back for a third round at bat (no pun intended…okay maybe a little intended), and what we got was The Dark Knight Rises, a flawed, but solid entry in The Dark Knight Trilogy. While the film managed to resonate emotionally, there were several plot elements that fell a bit flat. No city would be stupid enough to send their entire police force under ground, and don’t even get us started on Bruce Wayne somehow healing his broken back over the course of a few short months in an underground prison.
One other shortcoming came in the form of its surprise villain, Talia al Ghul, portrayed by Marion Cotillard. Her involvement was strange, convoluted, and in many ways, it took out all the impact of Bane’s character, who turned out to be nothing more than a lovesick puppy with no real convictions of his own. Perhaps the last nail in the coffin in regards to her character, however, was her death scene, which saw a pretty cartoony demise not fitting of this grounded trilogy.
Speaking with French outlet Allocine (hat tip to Comicbook.com), Cotillard commented on the death scene and backlash that followed.
"Sometimes there are failures, and when you see this on screen, you're thinking: 'Why? Why did they keep that take?' But either you blame everyone or nobody. But I thought people overreacted, because it was tough to be identified just with this scene. When I'm doing the best I can to find the authenticity in every character that I'm playing, it's tough to be known just for this scene."
Indeed even when I write about the scene, there is a certain tendency to play up its ridiculousness. Was it what the scene needed in that moment? Not really. But had the twist of her character not felt so false, I imagine her death scene would have been the least of everyone’s worries. At the end of the day, it’s a fault I give to the writers of the film above all else.
What did you think of that death scene or the character of Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises? Let us know your thoughts down below!