I watched the Dark Knight Rises again tonight. Since I just wrote about xenophobia in my last post, I feel obliged to start with the point that I do realize the plots of the Batman films have not been super progressive, and it's not hard to argue that Batman is an avatar for White Man's Burden. But I noticed a new theme in the whole Batman trilogy that I hadn't picked up on before: much of the conflict, the way it starts and the way it worsens, stems from a failure on the characters' parts to imagine their enemies complexly.
The League of Shadows imagines everyone in Gotham as complicit in the guilt of the city's criminals. The police repeatedly dismiss the criminals at hand to focus on their previous obsession -- Batman, the mob, the Joker.
Batman misreads the Joker, and it restrains his ability to effectively fight him. Even Alfred, usually the best at pointing out the clearest course of action, burns Rachel's letter assuming he knows what's best for Bruce, and comes to regret it.
I will explore this more later. For now, it's almost midnight, so I am going to bed.