The idea of real people dressing up as heroes and fighting crime at night experienced a bit of a surge a few years ago. A number of films appeared featuring characters who put on a cape and cowl to battle evil. There were even some documentaries and reality shows about the people who took on crime fighting personas. Add to this the short film Being Batman. The short looks at Brampton Batman, whose name is never revealed in the short so I’d hate to spoil the mystery that begins there. Decked out in a incredibly well done Batman outfit, complete with 1989 inspired Batmobile, Brampton Batman patrols the streets of the city nightly, stopping crime whenever he can, as well as taking time out of his life to make personal appearances at conventions and events. Some think he’s amazing, while others think he’s just crazy. Being Batman gives us better insight into why this man would dress up like a comic book hero and patrol the streets.
Brampton has actually been my home for about 30 years, so the idea that someone is cruising the streets at night in a Batmobile sounded fascinating. I’ve never seen Brampton Batman anywhere, which is kind of the idea that he points out in the short. Like the Dark Knight, Brampton Batman isn’t out looking for recognition. He’s out there actually hoping to make a difference, and he claims to have even stopped criminals at times. You could debate whether that’s actually true or not, but in the end it may not really matter.
Faced with challenges in his life, Brampton Batman has found a way to cope with the losses he has suffered. We may not all agree that it’s the best way, but if he’s not hurting anybody, can we really say that it’s not okay? Being Batman gives us a look into the reasons why Brampton Batman does what he does. He says his life holds parallels to Bruce Wayne, and he talks about the loss of a parent, although we’re never sure if this was due to crime or something different. The end result is that Brampton Batman has always felt like this person has been inside him, and now he’s able to become the person he’s always felt he was.
Some people may understand this, even if it’s not something that they would ever actually do. Fans of cosplay will probably have a better idea of the feelings that Brampton Batman has, but even they may find it confusing to see that he’s out at night actively trying to stop crime. No matter who you are, this can be an incredibly dangerous thing to do, and it’s certainly not something that local police are probably going to enjoy hearing about.
It’s impossible to capture all of the reasons behind someone doing this in a short like Being Batman, but it’s a good place to begin. The purpose of the short may not actually be to look at the why of Brampton Batman, but to show us that just because someone does something that we think is outrageous, it doesn’t mean that that person is someone we should avoid. Although not explored in Being Batman, the Brampton Batman’s Facebook page is filled with images of him at different events and conventions, sharing his passion with kids and adults alike. It’s this aspect that shows the true good that Brampton Batman can do in the world. He’ll inspire others, hopefully to work towards being better people without having to actually fight crime.
Being Batman is an incredibly well crafted short film, never showing Brampton Batman’s actual face, which builds into the mystery of his character. It also never chooses sides. It simply offers Brampton Batman time to speak his mind while showing us the world that he lives in. Whether you think he’s amazing or troubled is up to you, and the short doesn’t push us to a specific decision. You can enjoy the full short on its YouTube page, and I would recommend it to everybody who has ever wished they could be a superhero themselves. You can find more information about director Ryan Freeman at his website.