What’s the Deal with Bruce and Alfred in The Batman?

Matt Reeves ’ The Batman offers a fresh perspective on the Dark Knight, with many elements reimagined or portrayed differently than we might be accustomed to seeing. One of these which hasn ’ thyroxine been spoken about much is Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth ’ sulfur relationship. The familiarity and affection we ’ re used to between them is about wholly absent from Reeves and Peter Craig ’ s script. It ’ mho clear the two love one another, but it ’ sulfur easy to be taken aback by how Bruce treats Alfred. It ’ s a very nuanced kinship, which goes on an interesting emotional arch during the course of the film .
indeed, why does Bruce and Alfred ’ s relationship feel so different in this movie ? This adaptation of the butler clearly takes a more street fighter love access, but we ’ ve seen that earlier. It ’ south in the Geoff Johns and Gary Frank graphic novel Batman : earth One and in Sean Pertwee and David Mazouz ’ sulfur portrayals on television ’ south Gotham. But there seems to be more of a distance between Robert Pattinson ’ second Bruce Wayne and Andy Serkis ’ south Alfred Pennyworth .
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One reason is that we ’ re used to seeing an Alfred that operates as mission dominance for Batman. Remember Jeremy Irons in Batman v Superman : dawn of Justice and Justice League ? He was communicating with Batman during his patrols, always up to go steady on all the legal action. In The Batman, Alfred informs Bruce of Mayor Mitchell ’ sulfur mangle and is surprised to learn that Batman has already investigated the crime scene.

not only is Alfred not there with Bruce on his missions—he ’ s scantily there in the movie ! Alfred appears in only a handful of scenes throughout The Batman and is wholly absent for the movie ’ s final 54 minutes. Yet despite this, Alfred makes the most of his prison term on screen, and Serkis gives one of the most impactful performances of his live-action career .
The outdistance between Bruce and Alfred can besides be attributed to Batman ’ s state of matter of mind in The Batman. He seems to be rejecting his biography as Bruce Wayne, retreating from the populace eye and keep off meetings with businessmen. alfred represents his past as Bruce Wayne, and at this steer in his life, Batman is embracing vengeance and rejecting his world. This evolves as the film progresses, and by the orgasm Bruce has embraced hope .
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In some ways, Bruce seems to be rejecting Alfred as a father name. There are a few moments in the movie where he about seems barbarous to Alfred. At one point, Bruce coldly tells Alfred that he isn ’ t his beget, and in another fit, he asks Alfred why he has Wayne cufflinks if he isn ’ t a penis of the family. When Alfred awakens from his coma, the first thing Bruce says is, “ You lied to me. ”
Their relationship is a bite colder than usual, but then again, we ’ re used to seeing their intimate father/son bind and that ’ s not here yet. If we didn ’ t have decades of media to compare this to, would Alfred and Bruce ’ south relationship still seem stand-offish ? Plus, it ’ s not like there ’ s no common law .
When Alfred first appeared in 1943 ’ sulfur Batman # 16, Bruce scantily tolerated his presence. In 1944 ’ sulfur Batman # 22, Bruce and Dick gave Alfred a heavily clock time about his job performance and made fun of him behind his back. In 1949 ’ randomness Batman # 52, the Dark Knight had Alfred take the fall for Bruce Wayne ’ s apparent murder and the butler was temporarily imprisoned. In 1951 ’ second Batman # 68, Bruce cruelly fired Alfred as share of a gambit to capture some criminals, but he didn ’ metric ton tell the butler that the open fire was forge .
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Bruce ’ s kinship with Alfred improved over time, but it would distillery be years before he became mission control for Batman and a father digit for Bruce. When Dick Grayson left Wayne Manor to attend Hudson University in Batman # 217, the dynamic between the Wayne heir and his butler began to change. Alfred became the exclusive person in Batman ’ s home who knew his secret and the primary person for Bruce to share information with. This evolved further after Crisis on Infinite Earths rewrote Batman ’ randomness history. now Alfred had been a share of Bruce ’ s life since before his parents died, changing him from a peer to syndicate .
Of class, the impudent side to being a beget figure is that relationships with fathers and sons can be rocky, and that ’ s what we see in The Batman. During the hospital fit, Bruce gives us some insight that explains his cold discussion of Alfred : “ I never thought I ’ five hundred feel fear like that again, ” he says. “ I thought I ’ five hundred mastered all that. I mean, I ’ meter not afraid to die. I realize now there ’ s something I haven ’ thymine got past. This fear of always going through any of that again. Of losing person I care about. ”
It ’ s a brawny moment that Robert Pattinson knocks out of the park. It ’ s suddenly made authorize that Bruce has been pushing Alfred away out of concern. He ’ mho shut Alfred out because he ’ mho afraid of losing him. Bruce ’ s cold treatment of Alfred wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate because he didn ’ metric ton care, it was because he loved him thus much that it frightened him. Bruce ’ s confession hits harder because it immediately follows Alfred opening up about his insecurities about being a parent : “ You were alone a boy Bruce, ” Alfred laments. “ I could see the fear in your eyes, but I didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know how to help. I could teach you how to fight, but I wasn ’ t equipped to take caution of you. You needed a forefather, and all you had was me. ”
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This moment of vulnerability is all excessively real number for any father who has ever doubted themselves as a parent. Bruce and Alfred take one another ’ s bridge player and mutely comfort one each other. No words are spoken because none are needed .
Some have pointed out that The Batman is about the Dark Knight learning to be a champion and stumbling along the way. But after a few rewatches, I would argue that it ’ south besides about Bruce and Alfred learning to be father and son, and all the challenges that go with that.

The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as Batman and Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, is now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. not yet a subscriber ? Sign astir today to enjoy the best in DC movies and television .
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about television receiver, movies and comics for DCComics.com, is a regular subscriber to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, “ Gotham Gazette. ” Follow him on chitter at @ TBUJosh .
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.

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