Why Exactly Is Selina Kyle a Cat Burglar in ‘The Batman’?
Director Matt Reeves gave new life to the world of Batman by giving us a real detective story for the Dark Knight in The Batman. And in Robert Pattinson’s first outing as Bruce Wayne, we got plenty of characters to unpack, but one that stuck out as a brilliant interpretation of her comic book counterpart is Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman.
The Batman has brought us a version of Catwoman that has been a long time coming. Zoë Kravitz brought to life a Catwoman who used her ability as a thief to help those around her and wasn’t a cat burglar out of anything other than necessity. But why did she become a thief? Mainly because she’s very good at it, so let’s get into why she’s a cat burglar.
**Spoilers for The Batman lies ahead.**
In the context of The Batman, Selina is a thief because of the situation she was forced into when her father, Carmine Falcone, killed her mother. Selina is a survivor and uses her skills to both get the information she needs and to pay her way through her life in Gotham. In the world of The Batman, she does have a job at the Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge, but she still is willing to use her skills to help Annika try to escape.
Annika and Selina’s relationship is one that Kravitz herself saw as a romantic one at some point, but it is also important to exploring Selina as a character. Annika was photographed with the Mayor of Gotham prior to his murder, and when Gordon and Bruce go searching for answers using the Riddler’s trick of a thumb drive (where the Mayor’s thumb is literally connected to a USB drive), it releases the pictures to the public. Selina knows she has to help Annika in any way she can.
Even if their romantic relationship is maybe over, or not as important to Annika, for Selina, it is enough to drive her to keep Annika safe—which is how she comes to meet Batman in the first place. By … well, stealing.
It felt like, to me at least, Selina’s cat burglar tendencies only come into play when she has to use them. If it wasn’t retrieving Annika’s passport from the Mayor’s safe, it was trying to steal the money that Penguin and Falcone got from their drug ring to buy tickets out of town for herself and Annika. She was planning on stealing the money and leaving when she found Annika, and once she did find her dead in the back of a detective’s trunk, she stole the money as revenge. She wanted out and she was willing to use it even if she didn’t have a chance to save Annika.
Selina Kyle and trust
When Selina trusts someone, she trusts them enough to help, and that’s an important part of her character. It is, poignantly enough, very much like how a cat functions when they trust you. If they don’t like you? Forget it. But if you are in their bubble of trust, they’ll do anything for you, and that’s very much like Selina.
And that includes using her ability as a thief to find answers and do what she thinks necessary to help those around her, even if it’s putting herself in harm’s way. She doesn’t warm up to Bruce right away, but she knows that Batman knows where she lives and knows her name, and slowly, she starts to trust him when he proves that he’s willing to be on her side.
Her trust, with both Bruce and Annika, shows just how far she’s willing to go for her idea of justice, and it all plays into her thieving ways. So, in The Batman, Selina is a thief because she believes those in power need to know pain, but also because she’s incredibly good at it. And, as our Princess Weekes wrote, Zoë Kravitz’s Selina is the definitive Catwoman on film and felt like we were finally getting a comic book Selina onscreen—and that includes her abilities as a thief.
(image: Warner Bros.)
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