Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dark Night

The Joker: "Why... so... serious?"

There are many positive reviews about The Dark Night. I heard it during brunch at Marmalade Pantry this morning, in the papers, in the internet - it was all abuzz. And I was glad that arrangements were made for me to catch this show tonight.

The runtime was a pleasurable 152 minutes. The Dark Knight is a brilliant film. Everything was done right, stemming from a totally rich and in depth story that never failed to deliver its punches where it mattered. Every one of the A-list cast lived up to their potential, and evergreens from the previous movie like Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, have a lot more to do this time round.

Nolan-Nolan-Goyer nailed plenty of stuff in this film, one of which was the symbiotic relationship on the existence of both Batman and his arch nemesis The Joker. Frankly, one doesn't exist without the other, and becomes a constant plot point that many writers out there had already covered. But watching it take a life of its own on screen in this movie, was a real treat, an indication that the filmmakers really respected and understood the characters and their motivations inside out. That actually explains the longevity of Batman as a character of more than 80 years old, because it is the quality of his villains that ensured his popularity. With a rich rogues gallery filled to the brim with psychologically disturbed characters, Nolan, to paraphrase a line in the movie, truly provided s a different class of criminals from what we had experienced from the earlier movies which were not helmed by him, criminals from the rogues gallery who do not possess sesame street kind of friendly demeanour that don't strike fear and make you think that they could really hurt you bad.

But, the star of the show is truly the late Heath Ledger. Believe the hype surrounding his portrayal of Gotham's clown prince of crime, where his every little gesture mesmerizes, and is simple, effective and downright scary as The Joker. Ledger owned this role, and made it one of a kind, surpassing every other actor that took the role before him, and would take a monumental effort for anyone who comes after to top what he did. Heath tops both with giving us a Joker leaping right out of the comic books coupled with his own creative flair, where he's just plain insane, but always, despite what he says, having a plan (and a big ambitious one at that) and exhibiting that he's just as intellectually an equal to Batman when it comes to a war of the minds. But what makes him truly dangerous is his freehand toward execution and violence and he shows absolutely no remorse for anything. Looking at how intense he carried out this role, you half expect a surprise everytime he appears, or you would not even be surprised if none came at all - and that is scarily gripping.

My second favourite character in this movie goes to Aaron Eckhart's portrayal of Harvey Dent/Two-Face who made this tragic character his own, complete with the corruption in his supposedly fair and honest scarred-coin toss, and disfigured face, seeking revenge for the unfortunate events that befell him. The gem of his character comes from the interaction with The Joker, which unlike the Penguin-Catwoman clear-cut alliance, has plenty more in depth pathos fused into that short meeting of the minds. That scene alone, is worth the price of an admission ticket, and makes you wonder who the pawn in this game truly is.

And finally, there was Christian Bale, a good actor on his own - but whom here I thought was better as Bruce Wayne than the man in the dark suit.

Watch it! It is dark, it is scary, it is deep. It is the best Batman movie I have seen ... don't take my word for it. Go figure...


Anonymous said...

Since U R a big fan of the Silver Screen....shd wait for The Alchemist..u know...Paulo Coelho...novel turned to muvie kinda situation...I cant wait.... ;> yep..its me again

TheHoopoe said...

yes i know ... have been keeping in touch ... but it will be interesting how it will turn out on screen of such a beautiful book :)