Tuesday, August 5, 2008

PopFUZE #36

I know I am late to the party, but I saw this last night. When the credits rolled, I could not move. I was stunned, as I was through most of the movie. I was also terrified, as I was through most of the movie. What a complex, intense and insane movie it was!! INSANITY ruled the screen.

Dent's journey, Batman's path, Alfred's musings were all intriguing, but the Joker .... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Engrossing isn't the word I am looking for ... I need to use CONSUMING. The Joker consumed the other characters, the plot, the pacing, the entire movie, the audience!! Here he was, an insane psychopath dressed as a clown with no grander plan than a desire for anarchy.

WOW... The juxtaposition between Joker/ Batman was flawless. I loved how Bats just didn't know what to do, how to handle the psycho. The more punishment Batman dished out, the madder/ happier Joker became; he forced Batman, and ultimately Dent, to embrace sheer chaos. The Joker won.

This was a hard movie to watch, it was thrilling. But, this was not the usual super hero escapism we find when lycra hits the silver screen. Just like Batman Begins, this was a psychological action thriller that just happened to star a guy in a cowl and cape and a nutcase in clown make up.

Neither was the hero or the villain. Those types of absolutes do not exist in Nolan's Gotham - case in point was Harvey Dent. His descent into madness, as opposed to that of either Bruce or the Joker, was truly tragic. I think in the end, this was Dent’s movie with Batman and the Joker representing two sides of the coin and Dent the arbiter of fate. Sadly, destiny intervened and the flip of the coin delivered Dent a fate similar to that of the Joker’s; madness.

With the exception of the road chase scene, I don’t seem to remember too many special effects in this movie. No, the only images that are truly seared into my mind are those of the Joker. Perhaps his most terrifying incarnation in the whole film is as a member of staff at Gotham Hospital… Chilling, twisted and unsettling do not really even touch on the Joker’s presence in that setting.

This movie may have been titled The Dark Knight, but it could easily have been called The Joker. The performances all around are amazing, but Heath Ledger’s is a real stand out. This is the role that he will forever be remembered in. I know I will remember his ghoulish face and that insane cackle in my nightmares...



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