The Dark Knight Movie Review
In what was befitting of a finale performance by the late Heath Ledger, his portrayal of The Joker as a madman hellbent on bringing chaos to Gotham City truly deserves the rave reviews and accolades it has received. A deranged psychopathic lunatic with anarchy on his mind, sometimes you’d forget that underneath that make up, was once an actor that played teen heartthrob roles and confused cowboys.
A performance that even rivals, surpasses at times, Jack Nicholson’s screen presence and charisma, every screen time The Joker gets was used effectively in showing how crazy he is and his singular focus of bringing chaos to the established order, while bringing order to his chaos. Underneath the facade of craziness, lies a calculating, manipulative genius that, unless matched by Batman himself, would see Gotham crumble into the mess that it was before Batman’s arrival. Always staying a step or two in front of the authorities and Batman himself, pushing and pulling everyone to overstep their moral boundaries and nosediving Gotham into anarchy.
The title chosen for this iteration was not coincidental, as the whole movie involves the interplay of Batman, and Harvey Dent, the ‘White Knight’ of the story. Both recognize their own role in cleaning up Gotham, but ultimately realizing that the other would be better suited in doing what them themselves can’t, to the point that either one of the two is willing to risk themselves to protect the other’s ideals. This also serves as another dimension of the love triangle set up when Rachel Dawes, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, is romantically linked with Aaron Eckhart’s character.
As Batman cleans off the last few crime bosses that was left behind after Falcone’s arrest, they band together to rebuild anew. But try as they might, nothing could be done while Batman still roam the night, until The Joker steps in and shakes everything up, not just the renewed control of the cleaner Gotham streets, but as well the notion of what the perfect criminal truly is.
And that is one without any qualms about killing everyone regardless of affiliation, no qualms about doing the craziest thing you can or can’t think of, no qualms of even hitting where people hurt most, that is their loved ones. Because Christopher Nolan chose not to even flesh out the Joker backstory, preferring him to be “absolute”, an ‘unstoppable force’ pitted against Batman’s ‘immovable object’, you can sense that the two are even matches when it comes to their intelligence and tenacity, and the ingenious ways both employs, Joker in trying to pressure Batman, and Batman in trying to pursue Joker.
Then there’s his other ‘plans’, that made everyone go batdroppings insane. These really pushed Gotham to the brink of anarchy, and the resulting chaos would be a far greater magnitude than what Ra’s Al Ghul did in Batman Begins. And even if you think you know the story by now, it doesn’t mean there’s no twists at the end, by which point if you didn’t think Joker as the psychopath that he is, you will by then.
One of my most anticipated movie this Summer, I can gladly say the wait has not been for naught. Even if Ledger is robbed of an Oscar, I can say without uncertainty, he will be awarded a couple of Moonmen’s, one of which should be the Best Villain. Truly a performance that was worthy of a great actor, who locked himself up in a room to study the mannerisms of a Joker of the comics transposed into a real life, flesh and breathing deranged lunatic. 9/10.