July 18, 2008
the morning after the dark knight.
i've been anticipating this movie for quite some time. i saved the date like it was a dear friend's wedding day. any time i hype myself up to this degree i'm typically very let down. dark knight did not disappoint whatsoever.
heath ledger's performance was captivating. the joker might be the most complex villain ever created: eccentric, giddy, furious, and calculating. silly, yet completely sinister. he's one of those villains that doesn't need a motive to be evil; he just flat out enjoys it. he just loves to inflict pain - physical, but mostly emotional - just out of curiosity and sheer thrill. and any individual can act out such a complex eccentric character deserves an oscar. therefore, employing all cinematic authority i hold, i hereby nominate heath ledger for best actor as well as lindy hemming for best costume design.
batman is probably my favorite superhero. probably because he's not super; he's just a hero. just billionaire bruce wayne spending his cash on electronics and gadgets to save Gotham from insane wackos. this movie hinges greatly on the humanity of batman and his place in society. Gotham is full of imposters and wannabe heroes who think they can be vigilantes like batman. the joker begins killing off those in the public eye until batman unmasks himself and suddenly bruce wayne feels responsible for the escalated crime. should he come out? find a replacement? disappear?
bruce wayne is a hero that is forced to persevere through personal struggle to a much greater degree than clark kent (superman) or peter parker (spiderman). they can do abnormal things that others can't do. batman isn't a superior being to any of the criminals he puts behind bars. he's a man too. at one point alfred tells bruce that he needs to know his limits. limits? superheroes don't have limits, but public servants like batman do. he's forced to endure scrutiny and disgust. he's just a man who lives to save and serve others and the plot of the dark knight focuses on this. it goes deeper into the soul of batman.
the joker doesn't seek to kill the batman. he seeks to elevate bruce wayne's inner conflict. "The Dark Knight creates a place where good and evil — expected to do battle — decide instead to get it on and dance." (Rolling Stone). pretty much hit the nail on the head i think. it's a movie where you don't want evil to lose almost - at least that was the case for me. the more i saw of the joker, the more i wanted him to continue to terrorize Gotham. for 2.5 hours the joker toys with the world, and i wanted more. dare i say i want the joker to win? nah, but he's the greatest villain i've ever witnessed on the big screen.
know what else is terrific about this movie? there isn't a pathetic romance that ruins the film. there is some tension built around rachel dawes and her struggle to pick between bruce wayne and district attorney harvey dent, but the film doesn't focus on the love story, and it doesn't end happily ever after like every other Hollywood flick. the movie centers on what it should: the joker's demented antics.
the plot is twisted and constantly moves in ways you dont expect it to. it isn't just a bunch of mindless explosions and street fights either. the joker is crafty and claims that "Gotham deserves a better criminal." there's the good guys, and there's the bad guys...neither of which are on the joker's side. he is the worst. Gotham's greatest criminals are terrified of the cackling freak and no one seems to be able to figure out how to be a step ahead of him. he is absolutely merciless and has no friends or accomplices. and he's creeeeepy. gosh i want to see it again.
hands down the movie of the summer and easily the greatest superhero movie i've ever seen. please go see it. like now. and don't give me any "i'll wait til monday so i can see it at amc for $5." it's worth every penny no matter what you pay for it.
and call me if you need someone to go with. like i said, i want more.