I guess I am 7 years late, but this movie is worth reviewing even after decades after its release. The Dark Knight is a consummate, timeless masterpiece. Christopher Nolan has shown us why he is the master at giving classics. ‘Beautiful’, ‘Dynamic’, ‘A visual spectacle’, ‘Perfect’ are just a few words on the long list of epithets describing this movie. A perfect blend of fiction, mystery, thrill, modern-technology and suspense. With a stellar cast, a deep, intensive plot, amazing cinematography and visionary direction, this movie by far takes the trophy for my favorite movie.
The movie has a very intriguing start, with a man waiting for a van to pick him. He has a frowning clown mask in his hand and as the movie progresses we find out that he and a few other thugs end up robbing a bank. The Joker (Played by the late Heath Ledger *tears well up* *starts fangirling*) has a glass-crashing entry in the movie, with his famous dialogue “Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger”, while the original saying is “Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stronger”. Right from the start, right from his first dialogue, the Joker indicates a dark, traumatic past is the reason why he’d turned into a psychopathic murderer. Throughout the movie, The Joker gives different accounts about his pasts which is coherent with the character in the comics. In the comics The Joker goes onto say that he doesn’t exactly remember what happened to him, and if he was going to have a past it had to be multiple choice. I personally love how The Joker wasn’t given an origin story in this movie, only builds up the suspense and the ambiguity the viewers are left in, only wants to make them watch the movie over and over just to find that one clue, from which they can derive their own theory about The Joker’s origin to please their subconscious. He will go on to give one of the most iconic dialogue of this generation, a dialogue that teenagers will end up mumbling in their sleep (personal experience).
“Why so Serious? Let’s put a smile on that face.”
The Joker takes on the Batman and almost beats him. He ends up causing so much havoc in Gotham that it leads to a city-wide evacuation, which again he had planned for. Ironically, in the movie he comments upon how he isn’t a guy who works or draws up a plan. But when you come to think of all the things The Joker pulls off in the movie, it is nothing short of intellectual brilliance. He also ends up killing Batman AKA Bruce Wayne’s (Played by Christian Bale) love interest Rachel Dawes (Played by Maggie Gyllenhaal). The intricate plot twists and connections in the script are simply mind-boggling. The way the script has managed to link each character to each other, how the story has managed to progress without overwhelming the audience and how every single detail has been taken care of, does complete justice to the characters in the comics.
Nolan has taken numerous villains from the Gotham universe in the comics and used them to fill the holes in the story-line. A master move by the magician. With the Scarecrow (Played by Cillian Murphy) making a cameo, shows how the Batman has managed to reduce the street crime in Gotham and how the movie is linked to its prequel, Batman Begins. With the mob having a difficult time coping with the caped crusader rampaging through all their operations and foiling all their plans, they end up turning to a man they themselves didn’t understand, The Joker. Another villain that has been used smartly is Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face (Played by Aaron Eckhart). The origin story of Two-Face differs from the story in the comics, but Nolan uses the Two-Face plot beautifully to set up the final (and disappointing) entry in the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.
Bruce is shown to be having difficulties trying to manage his love life with the burden of being the city’s guardian pulling him down. The Joker pushes the Batman to the limit, and Batman suffers emotional and psychological blows from the Clown Prince of Crime, something that hadn’t happened to him since his parents were gunned down when he was a child. Nolan shows the audience a completely different side of the Batman, and it’s beautiful. It shows us that even Batman is human, he feels despair, heartbreak and sorrow. The audience could connect to the character, something most movies fail to do in their attempt to make the big bucks.
Batman ends up defeating the Joker at the cost of him hanging up his cowl indefinitely. If it were not for Heath’s unfortunate, untimely and tragic demise, we would’ve seen him smear white paint all over his face, draw uneven black circles around his eyes, swipe red paint over those scars and come back laughing in The Dark Knight Rises.
Heath Ledger has delivered one of the best character portrayals in the longest time, and it was so amazing and spell-binding that it managed to overshadow Christian Bale, which might I point out is not an easy feat. Christian Bale reclaims the title of being the most versatile actor in Hollywood. And with a cast that has Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine as supporting actors, with Hans Zimmer handling the titillating soundtracks, this movie was bound to be ‘one for the history books’.
The Dark Knight has so many things, so many aspects that can be talked about, but I’m afraid I’d end up boring you, because I don’t know if this movie has inspired you as much it has me. But if you’re truly a TDK fan and have something to talk about the movie, feel free to drop me a message in the comments. In the meanwhile, I got one question for you, Why So Serious?
Also, I’m Batman.