I feel like I’m out of my gourd right now! I imagine this is the feeling people experience when they prove the validity of a conspiracy theory that has a direct conflict with a commonly held belief – it’s likely no one will ever believe you, and, despite the evidence you yourself have amassed, you almost don’t even trust your own work! That’s what I’m going through at this very moment because I just watched The Dark Knight, the second movie in the Batman trilogy, and I noticed something bewildering: Chris Nolan pulled a fast one and replaced the original actress who played Rachel Dawes with a completely different one!
How no one has been talking about this bamboozling by one of modern cinema’s most iconic and beloved directors is beyond me. I mean, the man did such an amazing job of setting up the character Rachel Dawes – Batman’s Achilles’ heel, the love he ultimately opts out of to continue being the Caped Crusader – and then he goes and puts a different female in her stead? What was Chris Nolan thinking? Was he even thinking at all? Or was he thinking: a good joke would be to play wife-swap with Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend – no one will notice or care! Well, I’ll tell you right now Mr. Nolan: it’s not funny, I know what you did last summer 2008, and I care a helluva lot!
I knew the very instant that the character “Rachel” appeared on screen at 13:19 on one of Batman’s computer screens and is then referred to as “Rachel” at 13:23 that she was not the “Rachel” we all had come to know and love from the first movie, Batman Begins. I almost thought it was mine own eyes deceiving me, and I, for a second, attributed it to me stupidly blinking during the 4-second window where she was visible that led me to the false conclusion. But then, exactly 30 seconds later, the aforementioned Rachel appears yet again, in full cinematic clarity in a courtroom hearing. Dismayingly, the context clues confirmed my worst fears: Rachel wasn’t Rachel anymore.
It’s clear that Chris Nolan has succumbed to the nu-Hollywood adage that everyone is replaceable and that the audience is dumb. It really is unfortunate because Rachel’s appearance in the first film was so lauded, so praised, that it didn’t really make sense to do what he did. And while I sit here blaming Mr. Nolan, perhaps he is not truly at fault. In reality it is very likely that the corporate shills at Warner Brothers ordered the switcheroo because they get their kicks by systematically marginalizing females. I bet it really gets their rocks off to replace actresses all whilly-nilly, while paying no mind to the fact that they’re completely different people, who act in a completely different way, and who also look completely different, too.
What a shame.