The critical response to The Dark Knight Rises has been sharply divided between people who see it as a masterful conclusion to a trilogy that has redefined superhero movies and those who view it a soulless Rube Goldberg Machine. One thing that critics can all agree on however is that Anne Hathaway is utterly superb as Catwoman in the film.
I like many others was dubious that she would be a suitable casting for the role of Catwoman. Firstly because she is my Dad’s (who loves period dramas) favourite actress because he thinks she has a “lovely, happy face” and because when I think of Anne Hathaway I think of her as almost the extreme opposite to a leather clad villain.
I think of her role as Andrea the fashion editor’s assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, where she is geeky, unstylish, irritating and whingey for the most part of the film; I think of her as Jane Austen in the film Becoming Jane about to die with embarrassment when a man touches the back of her hand; I think of her as the ‘trying to be strong and cold-hearted’ Parkinson’s Disease sufferer in Love and Other Drugs who really is just a big softie underneath; but mostly I think of her as the one who gets run over by a big, giant truck in the film One Day. (Sorry to ruin the ending if you’ve never seen it!) This wasn’t the kind of actress who should play Catwoman surely?
She did however prove all us sceptics wrong and for me stole the show. Hathaway first appears on the screen wearing a maid’s uniform, indifferently carrying appetizers to party guests on a silver tray but is soon seen meddling with Bruce Wayne’s (Christian Bale) safe, stealing his jewels and fingerprints. We later see her attending a charity function on the arm of a philandering industrialist whose wife has decamped to Ibiza, leaving her jewels behind. She dances with Bruce Wayne and criticises his cushy upbringing and luxurious lifestyle. Mid-twirl, she refers to the distorting effects of doing what it takes to survive rather than pursuing a career and a life based on choice and preference, but the movie never explains what circumstances she’s arisen from and what events in her criminal record she’d prefer to erase. As a result, she remains mysterious and enigmatic throughout, the kind of character you want to learn more about.
She is tough, sexy, independent, extremely flexible (although I’m unsure as to whether she really is able to kick her her leg up to her forehead at any given opportunity in real life, unless she is perhaps a secret yoga instructor) and looks seriously good in that leathery, rubbery, whatever material that catsuit is she wears. She is also an excellent driver and drives Batman’s fancy motorbike even better than he does. All in all Anne Hathaway just kicks ass as Catwoman! Good on ya!
P.s. The amount of people who will dress up as Catwoman this Halloween will have trebled!