Alfred's Role in Mystic River

Believe it or not, Alfred, played by Michael Caine, had a role in “Mystic River”: in the end, he’s in drag (or was that Laura Linney?) and gives the same sort of speech to Sean Penn that he gave to Bruce Wayne, played by Christian Bale, repeatedly throughout his brief cameo walk-ins for “The Dark Knight”.  His repeated “you’re the king” style speech was in stark contrast to his constant disturbance over Bruce’s crime-fighting obsession all throughout “Batman Begins”.  That is, until the end when he gives him the “What do we do when we fall?” inspiration.

Really, Alfred’s entire role in TDK was to keep telling Bruce to go out there and do whatever shit he needs to get the job done, even if it means not being such a good guy when doing it.  So not only are his morals somewhat shifted from BB, but he actually is now encouraging Bruce to dive head first into probable bodily harm and possible death.  And when he finally gives the “we burned the whole forrest” line in his final speech to Bruce, what was the point of it?  No symbolic action of the sort was taken by Batman at all that he wasn’t already doing or hadn’t already set in motion.  The symbolism of that ended up being meaningless.

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4 Responses to “Alfred's Role in Mystic River”

  1. I think Batman’s equivalent of “burning the whole forest” was supposed to be the massive mobile phone surveillance network thing.

  2. the symbolism has meaning because Batman chose to burn the forest down by means of ..yeah, i know….sigh…turning everyone’s phone into a Sonar, 3D imaging device.

    he crossed a line he normally wouldn’t have to expose the “jewel thief”.

  3. “And when he finally gives the “we burned the whole forrest” line in his final speech to Bruce, what was the point of it? ”

    Um… try googling “dark knight” and “escalation”. Back to film school, kiddo.

  4. You must not be all that familiar with Batman.

    The line is not in reference to Bruce but to Harvey. As a matter of fact, after that scene the film, rather abruptly, cuts to Harvey waking up. Two-Face has generally been portrayed as the embodiment of what Bruce would become if he went too far. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns featured a passage where Harvey asked Batman what he saw in him; the answer, “A reflection.” Two-Face didn’t go nuts when the Joker showed up, he was already off-the-chain; the Joker simply gave him a gun and pointed him in the right direction. Two-Face then proceeds to go on a killing spree, going after everyone he finds responsible for the decay and loss of life in Gotham.

    Two-Face goes where Batman would never go, and would never willingly go. The forest line is in reference to Harvey not Bruce.

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