Warning: Spoilers ahead for “The Batman.”
At the end of “The Batman,” after the Riddler (Paul Dano) has been apprehended, he and Batman have a conversation about forcing change onto a city that seems beyond redemption. Batman felt that he was stopping crime and being righteous, but it seems the Riddler was similarly motivated. They also both wear masks and do a great deal of violence to unarmed people, making them frighteningly similar. It’s not until this scene that Batman begins to consider his role as a hero. Prior to this, “The Batman” is an otherwise straightforward (if complicated) story of police corruption and the exploitation of women. At the end of the film, Batman will have to reveal himself to the public as a helper, and finds himself out in the open, guiding people out of a flooded building and lifting them to safety.
The moment when Batman lights a flare to lead the citizens of Gotham out into the sun is the moment Giacchino felt the score must change. Bruce Wayne was now a new kind of hero. After three hours of film, punctuation was needed. He said:
“[T]here’s moments where you can kind of hear that change when he lights that flare at the end, when he realizes that he’s meant to be a light for these people as opposed to something that hides in the shadows. What if we made a very poignant version of that theme? It just seemed to work really well. Suddenly it felt, because this was something you’ve been hearing for the past couple of hours and now to hear it in this way, it’s just suddenly much more emotional.”