So I’m watching BvS again and new thoughts pop into my head (again).
The first time we see the adult Bruce Wayne, he is acting purely heroically, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s not in costume. Because we see his mind begin to warp as the fight goes on overhead. He embraces a child, perhaps symbolism for his final embrace with innocence, and the next time we see Bruce Wayne, he isn’t Bruce, he’s the Batman, not the hero that embraces innocents, but the monster that leaves innocent people caged whilst he enacts his violent will.
Until the third act, when the corruption of his innocence is shown to him, when he takes his eyes off his target for long enough to see himself for what he has become, until this moment, Batman is the villain. He is not risking his life to save children, he is sacrificing his humanity out of fear.
The fact that the story is framed in such a way is magnificent and bold. People often point that the movie starts and ends with a funeral, as these deaths act as both the birth and rebirth of Batman as the hero, the Dark Knight. However, it’s seeing Bruce act purely out the goodness in his heart during the Black Zero event as the start of his character arc, and returning to this goodness in the final scenes that really shows how wonderfully thought out this movie was.
It’s easy to get hung up on Batman losing his way, but it’s so important to not forget that he found it again. And what a complex, exciting journey it was.