Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Dark Knight (9/10)
A comic-book hero movie with philosophical aspirations! A villain more complex and deep than the hero! An oscar worthy performance! Plenty of gadgetry and big bangs! This movie has all this...and much more! If anyone can take a comic-book hero movie and turn it into a huge blockbuster, completely reconstructing the franchise along the way, it is Christopher Nolan. And he is in top form here.
'The Dark Knight' confounds you with the complexity of its characters, richness of its plot and its sheer magnitude. There are many layers to this movie. There is obviously the simple good vs. evil plotline. But just under the surface are many more subtle themes. How difficult it is to be truly good, how easy it is to turn bad, how strong (or weak) is our respect for morals, the lure of the dark side, and the indefatigable spirit of the light! Nolan follows all these themes and manages to string together a movie that is much more than an average hollywood blockbuster. It is a movie which makes us think. At the end, the words of Harvey 'Two-face' Dent resonate in our ears : 'You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villian'. Terrifying, precisely because the movie shows how close this is to the truth.
Heath Ledger as 'The Joker' is astonishingly good in this movie. When Nolan was asked why Ledger as Joker, he replied "Because he is fearless". Watching this movie clarifies that statement. Its not just that he is showing us a Joker far more wicked, far more sinister and far more scary than ever seen, its that he's using an actor who has never played a villain before (played Casanova, in fact), to play possibly the most scary character ever portrayed on-screen. And the gamble has played off handsomely. Ledger has played the Joker with a refreshing honesty, and in so doing injected a level of menace and wickedness into the Joker that is unexpectedly terrifying. He forces us to take the Joker a lot more seriously than we'd like to. This is an iconic performance that'll be remembered for a long time and deserves an Academy Award.