Sunday, July 20, 2008

Enter the Dark Knight

Disclaimer : - This post is definitely for the comic book enthusiast and to some extent, purist. If you are not, perhaps there are other posts and sites that you can read. But if you wish to continue, please do read on.

The Dark Knight:- It was only a matter of time that I would write a review on this movie, now very much acclaimed by almost everyone, whether a comic book fan like myself or any other moviegoer looking for a good entertaining movie.
The Consequence? After coming out from the cinema, my thoughts were on it. After coming home and before I slept, my thoughts were on it. The dialogue, the monologues, the thought provoking ideas and schemes. Yes, it was that magnetic.
Indeed it was superhero movie like no other. Think, watching Michael Mann’s Heat but with the characters strewn out from freaks and caped crusaders Think, watching the Infernal Affairs (which was a superior movie to the Academy Award The Departed) but with super heroes involve. And then there was Heath Ledger’s performance of a lifetime which, presumably, took a toll on his life.
The Batman’s comicbook tendencies, have now been fully transported into the silver screen. Even more so, is the psychological play of his sanity, and how deep he has to dig himself into his character as the Bat, to stop the foes which he have helped created. “I’ve seen now what I have become to stop men like him’ says Bruce Wayne. Every force has an equal and reactionary force and in this movie, this was explored. I have read a few of the many Batman novel epics, The Dark Knight Returns and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, and Killing Joke and let me tell you, those stories aren’t for the faint of heart. And perhaps this Christopher Nolan epic, like Batman Begins, could have really been an epic novel by itself. And so here is my review.

The Batman:- Never has the Batman been this intriguing and self conflicted with ideals of justice, morality and vigilantism. He keeps on fighting, but in his war against organized crime, the harder he deals, the harder it gets. After battling the immortal Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins, now he is up against the clown prince of crime, The Joker. The Joker, never fails to remind the Batman, that he is also a freak, like him. Knowing that he is also the outcast, because people still will not comprehend to the idea of a vigilante superhero, continues to become the outcast, which is best to protect the citizens he originally vowed to protect. And thus, Bruce Wayne has now become an alter-ego of this person called the Batman. The Joker keeps reminding, that Batman, human afterall will break and is waiting for that day to come. Bale never disappoints reprising his role as the forlorn anti-hero.

The Joker:- Perhaps, Heath Ledger’s best performance and a cryptic one at that. The
Joker, redefined in a new and horrifying way, cleary eclipsed even Jack Nicholson’s definite portrayal. Murderous, unpredictable, terrifying and a criminal mastermind are perhaps the best words to describe the murdering menace. While Ra’s Al-Ghul in Batman begins had the intention for a chaotic world, his was a cleansing of the corrupt, the destruction of all that is foul, something which needed to be done to pave way for a more civilized society. The Joker, on the other hand, just wants pure anarchy and to bring out the animal survival instinct deeply rooted in every man and woman. And thus, begins his wave of destruction to prove that civilization is a thin veil and fa├žade that hides the worst in all of us. I felt the chill when the Joker rode on the police car with his head sticking out of the window, embracing the moment when his chilling deed has been done. My hats off to Ledger, for the last and a very memorable and disturbing performance.

Harvey Dent is another complex character. Amoral at best, he relies on his coin to make decisions. Life altering decisions. And that’s what makes him another complex character. The Dark Knight portrayed Harvey as the white knight in Gotham. The anti-thesis of Batman’s Dark Knight persona. Upholding everything he believes in but alas, we all know (at least comic fans knew) that tragedy would struck and he would eventually become Two-Face. The character’s evil half is indeed scary and resembles a very badly burnt face. Gone is the Tommy Lee Jones rubbish in Batman Forever. Now here is a real character with a tragic fate and a twisted sense of justice thereafter. Such a sad and depressing event.

I would truly say that I enjoyed it every bit, as complex a crime drama as it is, there is no way to top it at the moment. It has brought the comic-book movie adaptation to new heights. Not since Spiderman 2 had such a movie about superheroes be as exciting as this. As the movie reviewer in the Star mentioned that this movie, stands together with another thought provoking movie and a personal favourite of mine which is V for Vendetta. If you liked that, you’re definitely going to love this. My friend, Yep mentioned, it didn’t look like super hero movie. It was too much into realism. Perhaps its time comic book movies grew up. My friend told me that after the movie, he saw a kid who was dazed. I pity the kid….hahahaa.

Ok now that it is off my chest, I feel a lot better.  However, movies like this are only going to get better and in this case, prepare yourself for another bout of realism, with another superb movie adaptation, titled the WATCHMEN which should be out next year. Till then, WHY SO SERIOUS?!

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