The Dark Knight

21 July 2008 at 10:21 am (Entertainment, Movies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


 As a child, most of us would agree that the movie watching experience was just that… an experience. As we age into adults who are ever-growing cynics, I believe we begin to appreciate film and storytelling less. This is not necessarily intentional, as the amount of entertainment we subject ourselves to increases, we obviously begin to realize how derivative of each other the majority of movies are.

However, every once in a while – a film comes along that challenges the conventions of a genre, as well as your own expectations. It is this challenge that renews that childhood excitement we all once had in movies, and forces us to appreciate the exorbitant level of creative depth necessary to produce a truly masterful work.

The Dark Knight is that film.

An hour into the movie, as the second act begins to pick up – I was in awe. I was no longer watching the movie as a fan, but utilizing it’s craftsmanship as a learning tool. I could visualize the words on the page for each scene as they were spoken – and it resonated thoughts of inspiration, as well of defeat.

I could never write something this good.

This was the thought echoing in my mind for the majority of the film, as well during the 4am drive home while trying to recollect and piece together the story I had just experienced. Now, Im not trying to tell you this is a brand new story that you haven’t seen before – it is. From Point A, to Point Z – this movie does not break any conventions in terms of plot devices and overall flow, it is the hero’s journey through and through.

What makes this movie incredible is the way the characters are developed and defined within that framework. The way their actions and words are scripted out and intertwined to ultimately produce a novel and unique approach. The level of depth achieved by the actors and The Nolans with directing/writing is unparalleled in the “summer movie” genre, and should serve as a blueprint for movies that attempt to fall in a similar vein.

I can admit, at first I did not buy into the Heath Ledger hype for this role. Honestly, I didn’t see the direction they were attempting to take the character in until actually watching the film. After watching this movie, I can say that all the fanfare surrounding his performance (Oscar talks, etc), is truly, truly deserved – and honestly probably still does not do it justice. Ledger is definitive in his performance, he eclipses the Nicholson performance of Burton’s Joker, if not in style – certainly in the impact his character creates in the overall story.

He is haunting, both entertaining and unsettling at the same time. The laughs generated from his character’s lines are nervous in nature, there are no overtly comedic moments. I have read comments in reviews labeling his performance as being the greatest villain of all time, and I can certainly appreciate that opinion. Ledger’s Joker is not a character you cheer for, it is a character that captivates you with its mystique and pure unpredictability. With Bale, you can hear notes of Patrick Bateman in his inflection, a reminder that you are watching a movie – this same familiarity cannot be found with Ledger. He is the Joker. His voice, mannerisms, etc are altered to an unrecognizable point, and never once does he venture into familiar territory to remind you that this is in fact, the guy from 10 Things I Hate About You.

Overall, this is one of few movies I have seen as an adult that I could categorize as an “Experience”. Though Marvel struck first with an excellent visualization of the Iron Man character, and a much improved rebirth for the Incredible Hulk, DC has trumped their rival with a film that transcends them both, as well as the superhero/comic book genre. The Nolan’s, and the cast of this film took a fantastical subject, and created a gritty, realistic world for the characters to exist in – one that will certainly have movie fans nervously looking over their shoulders when leaving the theater.

DLS

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2 Comments

  1. patrick said,

    kudos to the makers Dark Knight for their record breaking opening weekend… it’s no wonder there’s talk of another one coming out ASAP

  2. Bookmarks about Oscar said,

    […] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by stelabouras on 2008-08-19 The Dark Knight https://corprahlanfrey.wordpress.com/?p=81 – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by alex2000it […]

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