Review: The Dark Knight (4/5)

“The Dark Knight” is not the typical action blockbuster. The ubiquitous explosion and morbidity is present here and there. However, this movie pales in comparison with the turbulence and visual firecrackers of the likes of “Wanted”, but it invested its precious 152-minute running time in something more meaningful.

What I commend about the movie is its allegorical undertones. The Joker’s anarchic mentality is a product of his disbelief in humanity – humanity as in mankind and humanity as in man’s ability to act as human. It also explores the possibility that everyone can be a villain: The Joker, Harvey Dent (AKA Two-Face), Batman, Jim Gordon, and even you and me. The mentality of this psychotic can be likened to Jigsaw of the “Saw” franchise in testing the mores of people luring them to kill one another in an attempt to save their own ass.

Does Heath Ledger deserve a posthumous Oscar nomination for his role as The Joker? He does. I would like to dislodge everyone’s doubt that this hype is just brought about by his death. It is not. He delivers beyond what we expected of The Joker, which is groomed after Jack Nicholson’s portrayal in 1989’s “Batman”. Forgive me for being wordy and redundant, Heath is so freakin’ freaky, goosebumps-inspiring all the way. He steals every scene he is in. He is in the ranks of Anton Chigurh (“No Country For Old Men”) as an untouchable villain I wouldn’t want to cross paths with ever.

Half of the credit in the credibility of The Joker as a believable character goes to Ledger’s maniacal performance, while the other half goes to the writing. There is no other villain in superhero movies or in soap operas as principled as him. He is oozing with passion to eradicate the rules that surround our very existence by breaking the government into fragments. This passion soon turns into an addiction. The Joker is addicted to chaos that he crosses all acknowledged grounds bordering sanity. And in this wild ride, we are shown how self-destructing addiction can become. Like a communicable disease, The Joker’s addiction infects everyone including the most unlikely men, those with upright conviction. This addiction does not only pertain to chemical substances injected in our veins. This is the heedless need for greater power, more money, and total control. Batman also falls prey to The Joker’s sadomasochistic trap. The former becomes addicted to banish The Joker. And in a fist-fight confrontation, The Joker attempts to corrupt our hero’s mores that he, himself, almost turned into a villain.

Although submerged in a gamut of moral and ethical gray, Christopher Nolan’s darker reanimation of the Batman franchise (sequel to “Batman Begins”) is an affirmation of our humanity.


Related Posts with Thumbnails