Does Christopher Nolan Make It A Point To Kill Women In His Films? Read!
Why Is Christopher Nolan Obsessed With Fictional Dead Wives In His Movie (Picture Credit: IMDB)

Christopher Nolan is a visionary and his movies are way ahead of its time. His films will force the audience to expand their imagination, knowledge, and dive into the infinite realm of possibilities. He’s truly a genius. But having said that, his movies also have issues. And it’s not related to the accuracy of quantum physics or scientific facts. It’s more to do with the way the filmmaker portrays women in his projects.

The finest works of Nolan that put him on the top of his art have one thing in common – dead or exploited wives slash love interests of the male protagonists, who play a cruicial part in their making. Be it Memento, Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Tenet or The Prestige, they all follow a similar pattern. Scroll on to learn about it in details.

The Dead Wife Syndrome

Renowned writer and poet Edgar Allen Poe once said, “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetic topic in the world.” It seems that Christopher Nolan has been heavily influenced by these words as almost all his movies include one tragic death of a woman that sets the protagonist in motion – either forward or backwards.


Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce, was on a mission to find his wife’s killer, only to find out later that she died in front of him from an insulin overdose. The entire movie literally started because the wife died!


Leonardo DiCaprio aka Dom, was haunted by his dead wife, Mallorie Cobb, Marion Cotillard. To overcome the entire fiasco, he goes on dream missions and vacations.


Matthew McConaughey played the role of Cooper, whose wife died out of a brain cyst. He had two kids to take care of, and so, obviously, he left them behind and went on a dangerous space mission. Would he have done any of the reckless things had his wife been alive?

The Tortured Women Of Nolan’s Films

Whether they die or survive, half of the women in Christopher Nolan’s films are tortured to a point that makes something dark in the protagonist’s mind snap.

The Prestige

Robert, played by Hugh Jackman, could not save his lady, played by Piper Perabo, from dying during a magic trick gone wrong. It pushed him on a brutal vengeance journey.

The Dark Knight

Rachel Dawes, aka Maggie Gyllenhaal, dies because of Joker’s (Heath Ledger’s) brutal gameplay. As a result? Both Batman (Christian Bale) went on the biggest chase of his life while Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) lost his spirit.


Elizabeth Debicki’s Kat did not die (thankfully), but was stuck in an abusive marriage for the sake of her son. She was tortured, shot and toyed around with while she took it all. And, she did it with the minimum ounce of rage.

All of this makes us question if Christopher Nolan – a mastermind, a visionary, a cinematic genius – simply cannot put the effort to get innovative when it comes to crafting female characters in his film? Can the only incentive he can think of to get his male protagonists into action mode be some tragedy with a woman?

Let us know what you think of Christopher Nolan’s fascination with fictional dead wives, and for more details, stay tuned to Koimoi.

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