Thursday, 31 July 2008

Why So Serious?

There are three kinds of movies. Those that you watch, and immediately forget about. Those that you watch, and remember for some time. And then there are those movies, those rare diamonds in the rough, that leave a lasting impression. The movies that make an imprint so deep that you will never be able to forget them. The Dark Knight, needless to say, falls in this category.
Very rarely does a movie live up to the hype and PR publicity spread before its release. This one, however, not only lives up to it, but surpasses it beyond all expectations. Those who have seen it, will know why. Those who haven't seen it as yet- go watch it! Please. This is one movie worth watching.

I must admit I've never been a big fan of superhero movies. I never quite liked either George Clooney or Val Kilmer in the role of Batman, Michael Keaton I thought was slightly better. But Christian Bale fits into the role completely. I thought so while watching Batman Begins a few weeks back, and now, having watched The Dark Knight, I'm absolutely sure. It's almost as if the role were tailormade for him. Bale portrays Batman perfectly, as the humanised superhero- the masked vigilante who protects Gotham City, the man whose struggles rage within.
And just like there are some movies that you do not forget, there are some roles that go down in history. Example of the moment- the late Heath Ledger's Joker. He played the part to perfection. Ledger's twisted maniacal performance is simply stunning. He gets into your head with his stories of how he got his scars, he makes you laugh at his sick jokes, he makes you shudder when he's at his evil best. He's a psychopath, pure evil through and through. People are saying his Joker is far better than Jack Nicholson's Joker, but really, I think it would be unfair to make a comparison. Both are very good in their own way. Nicholson's Joker had a strangely wicked sophistication, while Ledger's Joker is the very manifestation of evil. Even in a nurse's costume, he sends chills down your spine. And when he says, "Why so serious? Let's put a smile on that face!"... Well, you want to cover your eyes at the grotesqueness of it all, yet you can't tear yourself away, because he's just THAT good.
The movie is fantastically made. The special effects are wonderful, the direction and cinematography top-class, even the background scores suit the mood perfectly.
The acting is brilliant too- leaving aside Bale and Ledger, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart pulled off a great job. Particularly, Eckhart's transformation from the fallen White Knight to Two-Face is stunning- he plays both the roles of good and bad with equal ease. Even Maggie Gyllenhaal was quite decent. Christopher Nolan truly has taken the Batman series to a whole new level.
But the movie belongs to Ledger. From beginning to end. Of course, Bale holds his own. But you can't help but marvel at the sheer dedication with which Ledger threw himself into the role. He's the Joker through and through- psychologically disturbing and sadistic, right from laughing hysterically while getting beaten up by Batman, to clapping in the prison cell, from the paint-smeared face to all his little speeches dripping pure evil and contempt for society- this is THE villain- pure evil. As I said, one of the roles that will go down in history.
It's a shame to die without getting the recognition you deserve. A shame not to be able to ride high on the success and accolades your dedication brought you. And it's heartbreakingly sad that you were taken away so soon, at such a high point of your career. But you went out with a bang. Leaving behind a true legacy. And for that, I applaud you. Bravo, Heath. May your soul rest in peace.


little boxes said...

i really couldnt have found a better expression for such a brilliant film!
you have said it all...and all i shall add is Amen

Esmo said...

2 things i learnt while watching dark knight...
1)batman goes to else could he upend a truck like that!!!
2) explosive diarrhoea kills (remember the bomb in the guys tummy?? wasnt a bomb)

but seriously..heath ledger...whod know hed live up to the old axiom about an artist never being appreciated in his lifetime.sad really!!

Rhea Silvia said...

You actually wrote a review! *hugs*
None of us quitemanaged. There must be batman begins/dark knight watching soon.

Egregious Dudette said...

A very precise and honest review of a brilliant movie :) Loved both! And what about the pencil-disappearing trick? That is the first in a never-ending series of gasps of the audience :D; The dogs turning loyal to the Joker; then the line on the truck "slaughter is the best medicine";.. touches of class!

SPIRITed! said...

Why do all perfect men die young? Huh? HUH?
Firstly, they dont make them like THAT anymore, and when they do, they kill them young. Its some paranormal conspiracy, I tell you.

Fishy! said...

@ Little Boxes: Thank you. :)

@ Esmo: Absolutely. Good point.

@ Rhea Silvia: Yeah, sure, at my place. I already have Batman Begins downloaded. I shall download The Dark Knight once the DVDrip is available on Torrent.

@ Egregious Dudette: And how about where he says, "I want my phone call. I want it." Brilliant.

@ Spirited: Hehe. I quite agree.

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

"see, at the end of the day, madness is like gravity. all it takes is one little push"



Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

"see, at the end of the day, madness is like gravity. all it takes is one little push"



s said...

Nicely written,I totally agree.

Mohit said...

I actually went to see the movie twice..on the big screen. Though I agree with you on the critical bits of it about Joker and Bale being awesomeness infinitum, the movie didn't really grab me by the eyeballs...I mean..Batman Begins was extraordinary in that respect. You'd never expect any director to give such thorough treatment and such a storyline to a superhero movie. And in that sense, it was better than The Dark Knight. There was something missing in TDK, can't really put my finger on it...have downloaded a 7 GB version of the movie and will attempt to watch it a third time :)