Monday, 8 September 2008

The Dark Knight

Here at SCG I've gone a bit movie-fanatical. Whether it's because I'm immersed in my own work which has me racking my brains with them and their marketing or whether it's just the fact that I'm suddenly turning into a movie freak who can't discuss film in real life but can when I'm writing, everything at the minute seems to revolve around them.

And so here we come to this. Like my review of Indy IV it's probably come a few months too late but here it is, finally! The Dark Knight! And I must say:

Give Heath Ledger the Oscar now pleeease!!!

Such compelling acting, a tour de force in acting! Disturbing, freakish, amoral (not even immoral, which has got to be a hard one to pull off) and possibly the most ironic portrayal of The Joker ever. Really you have to wonder what he could have done if he'd still been around - topping this role would be hard, but then wondering if there was still more left in the tank is tantalising.

Going back to the film, he definitely steals the show although there are other pretty special performances in here as well. Take Aaron Eckhart's chameleonic Harvey Dent, scarred in more ways than one by a horrific event that practically takes his humanity away from him. The CGI used on his face is just that little bit too realistic - I have to honestly say that I wasn't expecting such a graphic representation of such a heavily burned man. Kudos to the SFX department! Of them all, Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne (ahem, aka Batman) is the least impressive, and even he's pretty good!

In discussing Hellboy 2 before I touched upon the subject of whether monsters can really live amongst humans in perfect harmony. Now translate monsters as being human psychopaths and, yeah, superheroes, and you essentially have the subplot of The Dark Knight. Or at least what I'd like to think it is - while you have The Joker blowing up everything in sight and laughing as he slashes people up recklessly, Batman is going through a crisis all his own, eventually leading into the film's dark ending. Similarly, Harvey goes through an identity crisis and is brainwashed by The Joker into becoming an anti-hero, the complete opposite of the man who you see put 500 of Gotham's criminals in jail in one swoop. None of them are accepted by anyone and no-one apart from Wayne's butler knows the true identity of Batman. Thus when discussing the Joker, one of his henchmen says "Friends? Have you met the guy?"

I haven't been this entranced by a film in ages. I have always been that little bit skeptical of superhero movies, but The Dark Knight is different. It's a dark tale made even more twisted by stellar performances and the extremely capable directing of Christopher Nolan. I enjoy a film that can make you think - I suppose some of the little intricacies may have bypassed some people but it's what kept me hooked. By the end, I was gripped, not wanting it to end and with my hair all over the place from being so thrilled.

I only have one problem: it was so stupidly LOUD!!!!!


The Diva on a Diet said...

So great to see you posting again, Scarlet! And I, myself, am delighted to even be online again. Argh - its been a rough couple of weeks!

I saw the Dark Knight a few weeks ago, and as a major Batman movie fan - I didn't love it quite as much. I agree that Heath stole the show - it was the rest of the film that didn't quite do it for me. I think I prefer the previous film.

Though I agree that it was incredibly loud. OMG, I put my hands over my ears several times!


Laurie said...

I think I'm the only person in the United States who has not yet seen this film!

I love your reviews, Scarlet. Thanks for finding my blog so that I could find yours! (Election is one of my all time faves.)



Rozella said...

Heath Ledger is the best! He was such a great actor and he really really does deserve an Oscar for this role.

babooshka said...

My kind of superhero. No superpowers juts brute force and pyshcotic tendancies, your catual pissed off human being. I really enjoyed this and thank god Katy Holmes as gone. A for Heath Legder he was fantastic, and will be sorely missed.

Cesia said...

I agree that Heath Ledger was amazing. I think its easy to be a crazy, over-the-top bad guy ... but its difficult to be a controlled one who is so much like a real life criminal. That's what he did so well. Even subtle nuances like how he kept licking his scars.

I was very skeptical about people raving about his performance ... thinking it was just hype because he died. But now that I've seen it, I think that he really is one of the best bad guys ever.

- Cesia.