In the next scene Thomas Wayne decides that there is no way out, he has to fight.
[The slow gripping signifies the above and also comments on Thomas Wayne’s character , that he will never compromise even in the face of death.]
[ The gun fires and simultaneously Bruce Wayne FALLS. The death of his father is the stepping stone of the path Bruce will embark upon. Also notice in the change in intensity of the background track.
The next shot is totally unfocused, it heightens the gravity of the situation and tells the viewers about the lack of clarity and uncertainty, a single event has induced in Bruce Wayne’s future.
Again, we see Bruce Wayne falling towards his doomed destiny, and the bullet casket hitting the ground. Both gracefully relate to the theme ‘The Fall’ ]
Horrified about what has happened Martha Wayne tries to protect her son. But fate has other plans for her.
[In the next set of scenes, a lot of changes take place. From the look of the perpetrator’s face we can clearly grasp that he is in shock too and is going to take irrational decisions.
The most emphasis is given to scene with the pearl necklace dangling from the gun. It wants to compare the two things. A pearl necklace signifying beauty and bond the family had and a gun describing the harsh and brutal world. They describe how something innocent and beautiful can be broken and made to fall, by ugly reality and perverse actions
This segment is also marked by a female voice full of sorrow in the background. The makers want to show explicitly Martha Wayne’s demise. They want to express motherly love and dilemma. When the camera moves to her face, we can notice the fear in her eyes and how her brows rise, fear, not about her own life, but fear about Bruce’s fate]
[ And comes one of the most iconic scene in all of comic book history. The falling apart of Martha Wayne’s Pearl necklace, this actually originated from Frank Miller influential comic ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (1986). This small, and maybe insignificant event to a layman, speaks a lot. It epitomizes the breaking of bonds, the shattering of a little boy’s world.
Notice, when the necklace shatters due to the guns recoil, the beads become unfocused while the gun stays in perfect focus. The main emphasis is the gun. This shows that only the ugly reality has stayed in Bruce’s life and all the innocence and love he had is gone now. ]
And finally we come to the end of both journeys, Martha Wayne falls to her death. And simultaneously Bruce ‘Falls’ to his fate of becoming a ruthless person who will do anything to stop such a tragedy to ever occur again.
[Notice right when Bruce falls, the whole musical score ends. This is again to show that both the journeys have come to an end. After this we encounter a totally different background music which gives a sense of loss and unhappiness.]
And with the final ‘FALL’ we have reached the end our analysis. I guess it was pretty lengthy but it is certainly not exhaustive. There are of course many facets of the narrative that I have missed. But certainly, we can appreciate the effort it takes to make something so beautiful but still full of sorrow, and that too in less than 3 minutes of screen time. Having dialogues to describe a particular thought, you want to express is tough too, but a good filmmaker can convey a lot non-verbally. Just through his lens he has the ability to narrate a story and make the audience feel the intense emotions the story carries…