In 1993, in addition to my job I had another means of subsistence which was renting VHS tapes, being very popular Batman movies, and among the most rented was an animated series called Batman: the animated series, which stood out for being very mature, with very striking drawings and an excellent soundtrack. That's why I always looked for videos of the series to rent and I found an animated movie based on this series called Batman: The Mask of the Phantom.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it, because besides presenting and following the vision of the animated series it was a story with a very adult tone, featuring drama, action and reminiscent of a film genre that even today I enjoy very much, the Film Noir.
In this animated film there are many flashbacks where the bases of Batman's past are established, the story is very simple: for the first time the Man-Bat protects the criminals he wants to stop because Gotham City a new vigilante is murdering criminal bosses of the mafia, and therefore the authorities blame Batman, who has no choice but to solve the mystery of this ghostly vigilante.
The origin of the bat-man is interestingly addressed, Bruce Wayne remembers his past before the arrival of an old love (Andrea Beaumont), we also observe the defining moment that led him to become this masked superhero, we will even see the origin of the batcave and the Batmobile.
The atmosphere of the film is dark and the images that we observe present geometric elegance, it is a risky film noir and very mature for an animated film, here The Joker is key in the resolution of the story and we discover that the same destiny has marked him to be Batman's enemy for life.
Never having seen a Batman so vulnerable, Bruce Wayne must choose between finding love or avenging the death of his parents. In addition to his pursuit of the murderous Phantom criminal we witness as spectators how Bruce Wayne leaves behind all his ideals, to become a hero/vigilante who cleans the streets of evildoers and murderers.
We are shown the differences between justice and the thirst for revenge. The Phantom represents what Batman could be if he did not evaluate his actions and differentiate justice from revenge.
Despite being an animated film, it masterfully analyzes and exposes the characteristics of Batman, where we can understand that this bat-man is not a street hero with lots of gadgets and money, he is a man who under his disguise must live tormented between good and evil, and struggles not to be dragged by the wrong side.
All this psychological analysis of the character is condensed into 74 minutes of masterful animation by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, the creators of the animated series of the 90s.
The film's epic soundtrack is composed by Shirley Walker.
So far I have not seen a live-action, or animated Batman film that reflects the character in this profound way, (with all due respect to Chritopher Nolan's trilogy or Matt Reeves' film).
As for the voice actors, Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker from the animated series, Dana Dellany as Andrea Beaumont, Stacy Keach as Carl Beaumont and Hart Bochner as Arthur Reeves also participate.
The screenplay is by Alan Burnet, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko and Michael Reaves all connected to the animated series.
I have always been drawn to the duality of the Batman character, and his tightrope walk in having to decide between good and evil, his mind tormented by demons from the past, but he has always chosen the right path, which makes him a true hero.
He is a tragic hero, who cannot trust even love, at least in this film, indelibly linked to his nemesis The Joker who personifies pure evil, being incisive, intelligent and evil. Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler is a character that serves as a catalyst for our hero to put his feet on the ground, with his philosophy of life and the advice he gives him.
I as a common citizen would like to have a Batman in the street to fight against the bad people, criminals and thieves that abound in this society and do much harm to communities, these people think only of their own good and not the good of others.
This is my participation in the initiative CineTV Contest #44 - Favorite Batman Film or T.V. Show Link here.
Greetings to all and thanks for reading, I hope I have aroused your curiosity to see this great animated film.