I carry a small candle for Katie Holmes, a light that has been present since my teenage years. I was head-over-heels in love with Joey Porter and I remained that way until the end of Dawson’s Creek - no matter how many times she played best friend against best friend.
So with that in mind, I accept that I may hold a bias view when I discuss Holmes’ turn in Batman Begins. She has been described as the weak link in the movie, one of the worst casting decisions made by Nolan and describedcruelly as ‘terrible’ as Rachel Dawes. Hand on heart, I don’t see what others see in this movie, especially if I compare Holmes’ performance with that of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s.
The test for both actresses is whether you believe they are the long-time friend of Bruce Wayne and whether you buy their ‘destined to be together’ plot arch – Holmes does nothing that makes me question these points.
At a push, Holmes’ Dawes is more crudely written than Gyllenhaal’s – the speech she makes to Bruce after he admits to nearly killing Joe Chill is, well, unfortunate. You could also point to the hotel scene when she meets Bruce again after his time in self-imposed exile. These moments feel forced and I blame the words given to Holmes rather than her performance of those words.
I also can’t help feeling that a lot of the hate towards Holmes’ stems from who she was romantically linked with at the time. As I have said previously, audiences find it difficult to separate an actor’s personal life from their professional. Holmes did not give a barnstorming performance but neither did Jake’s sister and I have yet to read a review where Gyllenhaal has been lampooned.
(Sigh) I can feel my inner Holme’s flame burning as I write this. As I said at the beginning, I may be biased when it comes to this subject. I don’t know.