Jul 19, 2008

This town deserves a better class of criminal... and I'm gonna give it to them

I have been to many movies in the theaters but very few of them have had the audience clapping. I have witnessed spontaneous clapping for funny scenes. But at the end of the movie when the audience claps as one it would not be due to a few well shot scenes. Rather it has to be the sign of a movie that so captivated the viewers, that appreciation at the end of it is as much a spontaneous reaction as leaving the theater once the end credits starts rolling. The Dark Knight is one such movie.

Having been a fan of Batman all my life, I hate the earlier movies because of the utter frivolousness it brought to the character. Batman Begins brought about a wave of freshness from its sickening predecessors. Christopher Nolan bravely decided to inject a story to the life of Batman. Batman Begins was not a conventional superhero film in the sense the movie offered the viewers a look into the minds of the character(s) and not just at Batman's lives saving actions. And the movie had such a taut script with no loose ends, I believed that it would be the best Batman movie ever. Any attempts at a sequel by Christopher Nolan, I believed, would be more to recreate the magic once again and the resulting predestined failure of the sequel should be something that can be forgiven.

I missed seeing The Dark Knight on the opening day but I saw rave reviews and I believed them to be due to the initial euphoria. But I got to see the movie today. Wow. It is probably one of the best movies ever. Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker quite stunningly steals the limelight from the protagonist himself. The character is such a masterpiece because of the way it has been shaped. The Joker does not run around pointlessly causing mischief and laughs inanely. Instead, every second he takes up the screen time is an insight into the mind of the character himself that almost leaves us to believe we are actually seeing such a character in real life and not an actor in a movie. Full credits to Heath Ledger and Nolan. When the Joker says, "This town deserves a better class of criminal... and I'm gonna give it to them" it comes out like a statement that also appears to say that its not just the fictional Gotham city but also the history of Batman movies that deserved a better criminal (and a better movie). Some tout this to be a Oscar winning performance for Heath Ledger. I am not sure about that. But he has immortalized the Joker with this performance and given a new dimension to the character. Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent has also been great. The scene where the Joker corrupts the minds of Harvey Dent at the hospital is a classic.

There were some reviewers complaining about the long running time of the movie (2 hours 30minutes). My only complaint is that the movie was too short for me to see enough of the characters. I have seen movies dragging on pointlessly but here was a movie that could have gone on for another hour without the audience noting the difference. If there is another Batman movie coming from the stables of Nolan in the future, the only regret would be that Heath Ledger is not alive to recreate the magic once more. Just like the Joker said to Batman in the movie, "You've changed things... forever. There's no going back"

P.S.: Oh Yes. Chistian Bale is one of my favourites now and I was thrilled when there was a teaser for the Terminator Salvation slated for release on May 2009. Also, I would highly recommend the movie 3:10 to Yuma in which Bale has starred.


Anonymous,  July 23, 2008 at 1:09:00 PM EDT  

I loved Batman Begins for being a prequel to how Batman became. I thought it bested other Batman movies because of the story and screenplay. I am yet to see the new one. Too bad Heath isn't alive.

viswajith.k.n July 23, 2008 at 1:28:00 PM EDT  

I agree with your point of view. But I myself have not read much of Batman comics...and this was the first Batman movie I saw...and yet it was an awesome movie for me...well paced with meaningful action...adhuku apparam daan Batman Beginsae paarthaen...that was also a good movie...but in this case wot separates a good movie from a great one? Ledger's performance!

Macadamia The Nut August 2, 2008 at 5:04:00 PM EDT  

What I loved about this one was the essence of depth it had. And yeah, I didn't think it was long either...

But, the amount of hype that was built around it was a let down.. especially since I watched it only after 3/4th of the world did :D

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