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In know Batman Begins isn’t new, but when I watched it again recently, I was struck by words uttered first by Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) and then mirrored by Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). (Photo: Katie Holmes as Rachel, talking with Bruce Wayne in a hotel.)
Here’s the context: Rachel and Bruce were in love with each other when they were younger, but then Bruce disappeared, only to return years later. He had not contacted Rachel since his return. In order to cover his identity as Batman, Bruce is trying to act the part of the “millionaire playboy.” One night he’s cavorting in a hotel fountain with a couple of young women. While leaving the hotel, soaking wet in his suit and tie, Bruce runs into Rachel. In this awkward moment, he tries to explain to Rachel that he’s not what he appears to be. “Inside I am more,” he says. Rachel responds:
“Bruce, deep down you may still be that same great kid you used to be. But it’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.”
You can watch the clip here. Much later in the movie, when Batman has saved Rachel’s lives and is fighting to save others, she asks him who is really is. Batman responds, tellingly:
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
Those are some words to weigh.