If you've somehow landed on this page by accident, the following is a massive spoiler. Please don't read on if you haven't seen The Dark Knight Rises.
Brilliantly, beautifully, Christopher Nolan has given each member of the army of fans who have followed his Batman saga their own individual perfect ending.
That's because everyone is able to interpret it in their own way.
The debate amongst fans as to whether Alfred truly saw Bruce sitting in that cafe in Italy, or whether it was his imagination, has already begun.
The believers point to the presence of Selina Kyle, and ask why Alfred would imagine her there when he had so little interaction with her. The non-believers point out that Selina's spent the entire film in black, and the blue linen outfit means she's clearly a construction.
The believers point out the auto-pilot foreshadowing and resolution. That silences the non-believers momentarily, before they argue that the film is full of hallucinations, both definite - Ra's al Ghul in the prison cell - and debatable - the bats flying out of the pit walls - so why wouldn't it end on one?
Nolan's 'choose your own' approach to film finales was first seen in Inception, but here it provides even greater catharsis.
Some people wish the film had cut to black on Alfred's expression, to heighten the mystery. We're glad it didn't, because as far as we're concerned, Bruce Wayne is alive.
The reason Selina is there is she was associated with the Clean Slate device, a device that Carmine Falcone's 'Prince Of Gotham' would definitely need to begin again. She's wearing the linen outfit because black would be a bit hot in the Mediterranean climate. And more than that, the costume change is symbolic of her desire to leave her past behind.
As for the hallucinations, they were experienced by one character - Bruce. And they happened when he was at his lowest point, both physically and mentally. Alfred is grieving, but a man who still has enough hope to make his yearly trip to Italy is not a man broken enough to experience visions. Especially not one who has operated as the voice of sanity throughout the trilogy.
But that's just our opinion, whichever way you look at it, Nolan has given this saga a happy ending. We couldn't have asked for more, really.
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