Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Things I love about The Dark Knight

Sorry, this is like the second time I have watched this movie since I restarted my ‘Movie a Day’ challenge. But trust me, I have tried to stop myself at least ten times in the past two weeks from watching this movie again. I guess it is because it is the closest I can get to Inception, and it is my favourite of all of Christopher Nolan’s directorial work...though I like Memento and Inception a bit more as films. Without further ado, I’m just going to roll out a few things I love most about The Dark Knight, just like I did with Inception.

Let’s start with the end. Call me weird, but I love how Batman Begins, Inception and The Dark Knight end with the title. But before smacking that in your face, this film ends with a bit of an inspirational speech from Lieutenant Gordon (Gary Oldman), which sends Batman on his way. If I weren’t so emotionally stable I may have had some waterworks going on. ...Then there is the beginning. The ‘prologue’ scene is possibly my favourite scene in movie history. Okay, so a lot of people die. But if this were handled in a different way, it could have just passed as another stupid Saw-type movie. What I really like about this scene is that it is so quickly edited and put together in a way that doesn’t allow the viewer to take it in bit by bit, the viewer must wait until the end of the scene to be fully satisfied. Meanwhile, everything that happens in this scene is like a staircase...the further you get up, the better the view is. And then, once you reach the top, you realise you have reached a level which plays out like a maze. Seriously, you can’t tell me that the moment The Joker reveals himself isn’t one of the most breath taking things ever caught on film? By breath taking, I mean that the introduction to his character is the introduction to the genius of Heath Ledger and his amazing performance in this film will send you on a ride to hell and back. So you’ll probably be a little scared at this point. The Rachel Dawes switchy. I have never, and probably never will, understand the casting of Katie Holmes in the role of Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins. It probably seemed like a fantastic idea at the time, but she really couldn’t bring much to the role of an intelligent and strong attorney. When Maggie Gyllenhaal takes on the role, she makes Katie Holmes melt like butter. Gyllenhaal is so much better at holding her own around such seasoned actors, and holding her own in quite a tough role. In the first film, I didn’t care much for Rachel, as she seemed like a pretty little rich girl who has a successful job to make herself seem a lot better than she really is. But in this film, Rachel becomes the heroine, and adds a somewhat human touch to all this otherworldly drama going on. I could hardly believe it was the same character.
Aaron Eckhart. Yup, I love Aaron Eckhart. I don’t see why a lot of people aren’t picking up on what a talented actor he is. I guess it’s because he keeps starring in some pretty mediocre romantic comedies like Love Happens and No Reservations. But give him a role like Harvey Dent and he will make you notice. With the transformation into Two Face, Eckhart only gets better, and has the incomparable task of taking on a dual personality but ultimately does it with style and enough angst to make even Dr. Phil get the squeamies.
That chase scene. That truck did a backflip?? Hey, in the normal world this wouldn’t have been acceptable. But in Chris Nolan world it was possible. That scene gives me a huge adrenaline rush, and would be enough to keep me high for a few hours. This scene is really the turning point in the whole film, because every thing that happens afterwards (Rachel dying, Harvey finding himself in a ‘spot of bother’, Gordon returning from the dead...) plays a pivotal role in the making of the amazingness that is The Dark Knight. And the scene knows all this, so it goes out with a bang. A. Huge. Fucking. Bang. This isn’t a ‘Batman’ movie. I think I completely forgot that this movie was a Batman movie by the end. Sure, there was some guy running around Gotham with a mask and a cape that closely resembles that of a bat, but other than that, this film seems chillingly real. The darkness of it doesn’t let the film succumb to the world of ‘superhero’ movies, and that darkness contributes to an entertaining yet realistic view of a fictional setting. I mean, this is the same Batman that was played by George Clooney in a film like Batman and Robin. Try wrap your head around that. It’s a sequel which is much better than it’s already great predecessor. How many times does that happen in Hollywood?? Not enough. I really do love Batman Begins, but The Dark Knight is basically a completely different movie. It’s a lot darker, a lot more action packed, and is made much more thrilling because it has a villain who is present throughout the whole movie. They’re on two entirely different levels, that you barely even know that they are supposed to come as a package deal. Here’s hoping that the third instalment does exactly the same for the series.
So many choices that some people probably make every day. Okay, so they don’t just wander around in this film deciding what salads they should have in their sub or what colour tie they should wear to work. But some of the choices that must be made in this film, for example, how the ‘friends’ must choose whether to save Harvey or Rachel, could be just simple choices. Whatever is chosen, however, comes with a big consequence, which in turn makes everything darker and surprisingly emotionally relevant. (Please note: it is highly unlikely that you will turn into 'Two Face'. But consequences do happen).

I couldn’t go through this entire blog without mentioning the amazing performance from Heath Ledger. But everybody says that. There’s really nothing more I can add to what everyone says. Ledger just delivers a phenomenal performance of a role that isn’t supposed to be at all realistic...but he makes it believable. Had Heath Ledger lived after the release of this film, I really ponder what would have happened to him. What would he have done after this? Because I don’t think anything could top his performance in this.

There you have it, some of the things I love most about The Dark Knight. Hopefully I should be able to control my urge to rewatch this film in the future. Because I’m not really sure I could possible make another post on this film to bore y’all.

You know the rating...right?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you said, adding only Christian Bale, who - despite that batman voice I always find so weird - delivers a nice performance with such dedication, as always. And Nolan, taking action/hero films to such a level of excellence. Oh, and I can't even remember Holmes in Batman Begins, honestly! I'm so glad they cast Maggie Gyllenhaal, my adoration for her work has been growing significantly since TDK. I wish she could still be a part of the new Batman - which by the way, has such great new cast members like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard - really looking forward for the premier.


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