The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight. Keh. My brother took the words outta my mouth. He was so thoroughly inspired that he was already using words I hadn’t used in a decade. Hehe. But we basically thought the same thing. (I was surprised at how it all came out so well despite the number of sub plots in it.)
The only thing that pissed me off was the fact that some stupidiot parents thought it was okay to bring a toddler to a violent movie. The brat kept kicking my seat. I had half a mind to reprimand the parents.
Anyway, here’s his review. You can also read it on his blog.
The Dark Knight on Moral Ambiguity and Duality
by Darth Paul
dictionary.com defines the word “Poignant” as:
poign·ant Audio Help /ˈpɔɪnyənt, ˈpɔɪnənt/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[poin-yuhnt, poi-nuhnt] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
1. keenly distressing to the feelings: poignant regret.
2. keen or strong in mental appeal: a subject of poignant interest.
3. affecting or moving the emotions: a poignant scene.
4. pungent to the smell: poignant cooking odors.
Had Batman been steaming durian on the great outdoors then TDK would have nailed all four definitions. As a huge fan of the comic, apprehension would be a far gone conclusion as I count myself as one of those fans who prefer a comic movie to stay true to the story and characters (After what I perceived as a huge let down in superman, I was skeptical). I thought there was too much hype and I was really disappointed because for awhile, it seemed it was capitalizing on Heath Ledger’s untimely demise. But now I know better. The hype was actually failing to do justice to Heath’s genius portrayal of the joker. That’s a compliment I would not give lightly being a huge fan of the Killing joke and The Dark Knight Returns books.
In what seemed to require little time and effort, Heath’s Joker deviated from just being a character, to an avatar of pure malevolence and sick and twisted evil. In the span of but a few minutes he molded all the words such as insane, demented, deviant, vicious, sinister, pestiferous, iniquitous, miscreant etc. into one steam rolling train (where I thought his statement saying, “This is what happens when an unstoppable thing meets and immovable object” was quite appropriate.)… TDK was pushing the boundaries of PG 13 as far as it can go, teetering on the edge and standing on the precipice looking down (which was poetic considering this was how Bale described himself as playing batman when they had to shoot scenes of him on top of buildings) Joker was so base that I found I found myself closing my eyes a few times because I really believed I was in for a “Hostel-esque” scene. I loved the fact that they can inspire the same terror without the use of gore. Hey, if they create great love scenes without revealing anything “pink”, then why can’t they do the same thing to violence without showing too much “red”. (You may wanna watch out for the “Magic Pen Trick” though. ^_-)
Though Ledger’s performance was legendary, he cannot take the kudos alone. This movie was a trifecta: Cast, plot, and director (their small part character was played by Morgan Freeman, ’nuff said). This was a five star cast. Bale did a fantastic job as always. His batman stays true to character. Bale does not disappoint in his performance as the forlorn and solitary billionaire and this is in huge part to Michael Caine’s Alfred. It was as if Alfred was beginning to be Bruce’s only translator to the outside world as Bruce begins to lose himself to the mantle of the bat. As the world closes in, it seems that batman is not as stalwart as everyone sees him to be and would have broken ranks had it not been for the loyal manservant.
*spoiler alert (though not really) for non-comic fans*
But the biggest surprise came from Aaron Eckhart, who plays “White Knight” lawyer Harvey dent, and later on- villain two face. I thought he would be the weakest link to an all-star ensemble. I expected him fade to the background as soon as the powerhouses started slugging it out, but it turned out to be a clash of three forces of morality: Joker representing the festering evil, Harvey Dent representing the ray of White light, and Batman, representing the wild card and the burden of choice.
The best part of the movie was that I was surprised that it managed to merge beautifully given the fact that it had a lot going on. I was amazed they were able to pull it off without looking like rushing the script or cramming too much in too little a time. The lines were clearly drawn as the movie starts out but gradually distorts and steps on the accelerator. Stockholm syndrome, anti-hero, good cop-bad cop and a myriad of other fealty descriptions would probably course your mind throughout this movie. And you often find yourself thinking that the characters were asking the right questions with no right answers. True to the signs of becoming a permanent impression on the whole movie industry, this is not your traditional feel-good summer blockbuster. If you want to relax you may want to hold out on watching this movie just yet. It is definitely entertaining but leans heavily on your heart and taxes your strength. Just don’t forget to ask yourself “Why so serious?” every now and then.
There was a discussion among critics if TDK could be described as a masterpiece. But personally, I think the only thing that is stopping them is the genre of the movie: A comicbook movie. I’m not declaring TDK one way or another, but if biases and pre-conceived notions are playing a part in judging what otherwise should be a spectacular movie, then that defeats the whole purpose of being a critic.