The Dark Knight – Movie Review
There is so much to talk about in this film The Dark Knight (directed by Christopher Nolan) but the only one thing that one wants to talk about is Heath Ledger. He’s the villain, who plays the Joker, the psychopath that all Batman fans are familiar with. Ledger manages to portray the inner turmoil of a twisted soul so well that he literally quivers with the hate. The hate bubbles and boils on his surface…a hate so cold and sick and uncontrollable that it makes you recoil.
The story (no spoilers)
The movie centers around two other powerful characters…the suave playboy Bruce Wayne alias Batman (Christian Bale) and Gotham city’s “white knight” district attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Dent is clean, committed, brave and incorruptible and naturally Gotham city reveres him. Batman sees in him a glimmer of hope for Gotham, someone who can now take over his mantle…root out the corruption and evil and get rid of the gangsters. No, not as Batman, but as a real-life legitimate hero. However things don’t go exactly as planned. And how can they when we have the Joker, a man who insists that he doesn’t ever plan anything?
There is a lot of violence. Some scenes are not just brutal but horrifying too…and it’s as if the director wants you to dwell on them. I didn’t like that.
The story was also rather melodramatic and a little stretched. But no, this two and a half hour movie is by no means boring! Its all pure undiluted entertainment which I enjoyed thoroughly.
The pace of the movie is fast. I didn’t mind that, but what I did mind was the way some of the action scenes were shot. They made you a little dizzy and well at times it was difficult to figure out what was happening. The other action movie released earlier this year – Iron Man – wins hands down.
Most reviews of this movie (in the United States) praised the movie sky-high and I was wondering whether something was wrong with me because I didn’t like the action scenes. Until I read this New York Times review by David Edelstein in which he trashes the action
…the tumult is spectacularly incoherent. Nolan appears to have no clue how to stage or shoot action. He got away with the chopped-up fights in Batman Begins because his hero was a barely glimpsed ninja, coming at villains from all angles in stroboscopic flashes. There are more variables here, which means more opportunities to say “What the f— just happened?”
I cannot disagree with Edelstein. At the same time I did enjoy most of the action, particularly the scenes of a mobile Batman. Even though Batman does a lot of unbelievable stunts (remember, he’s human, without superpowers!) the special effects were impressive.
What surprised me was that Edelstein has been receiving hate mail ever since his scathing review! Why can’t someone be allowed to not like a movie?? Although I enjoyed the Dark Knight, if I had to look at it seriously, or critically, I can find many flaws in it. Someone did, and well, he had a right to point them out.
One can enjoy a movie despite its flaws, and that is what makes movie viewing so subjective. That is the reason why I avoid giving ratings to a movie.
I have to mention the music score (by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard) because I loved it!! In fact I found myself listening to the music a lot.
Characterisation and acting
These are comic book characters and thus they need to be taken as such. I wish Harvey Dent’s character had been a little more believable though…I just couldn’t figure out why he was behaving the way he did! And as for the acting, couldn’t find flaws in anyone. They were all good, with the exception of Ledger. Ledger was simply brilliant.
This movie is not one to miss for die-hard action adventure fans. And the bonus is the performance of Heath Ledger. He is not with us today, and there has been speculation that his death was a suicide.
(First photo is from empiremovies and the second from latimes)