Jul 23 2008

Dark Knight: Dissecting The Film

Published by at 5:10 pm under Movie Review,Movies

After The Dark Knight last night everyone was on a high (admittedly I was the only one jumping around the place like a jackrabbit on drugs) and a group of us gathered outside the Savoy first of all to give out overwhelmingly positive post mortems. The buzz and the vibes outside the cinema were a great experience.

The Joker

Mr Rick ran off (apparently he has to get into work a little earlier than usual for the next few weeks) as did the Mulley (Sir, it was a pleasure finally meeting you properly, if ever so briefly), but a group of us headed for Grand Central to further autopsy the film. Anto, Maybury and his far better half Debs, Doyle, Niamh, Lady Anon and myself spent the next hour pouring over our favourite moments, our favourite lines, our shock moments and our best bits.

David then asked the irritating question “So, who’s better – Nicholson or Ledger?” Why would you ask such a question, Sir?

I don’t know. Nicholson’s Joker was perfect for Burton’s Batman. In the late eighties his OTT mania was considered frightening while today, as Lady Anon suggested, it is almost parodic. I think Ledger’s performance was better but I’ll have to watch The Dark Knight a few more times before I can call him better than Nicholson.

Darragh seemed to find the finale and the Joker’s ending all too easy, but I don’t think many agreed. Without going down the route of spoilers, it’s clear there was so much mystery, madness and violence prior to his ultimate downfall. To me, it didn’t seem too simple at all.

The Dark KnightOne thing that definitely divided the group was the character of Rachel Dawes, played by the adequate Katie Holmes in Batman Begins, but by a far more rounded Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight. One issue that came up was that, though Gyllenhaal was a better actress, the character departed so much from the Dawes of the first movie that it was difficult to buy into her role. I personally loved her as the torn love interest, but I can see the point.

One thing I definitely differed with some on was my adoration for Aaron Eckhart. As Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent, he stole the screen whenever he was on it, even earlier in the movie. He was the truest heart of the movie and to watch his downfall was the most riveting dramatic plot point. Any fans of the franchise will know that Dent is destined to ruin, to be disfigured and driven mad to become Two Face. Interestingly he begins the movie as the White Knight, the perfect symbol of truth and justice, a man who believes in order and does not leave anything to chance. The symbolic use of his perfect coin, with the same image on either side, which later becomes disfigured at the same moment Dent goes through his most traumatic experience, is one of my favourite moments in the film.

Speaking of favourite moments – when the Joker blew up the hospital, but it didn’t go according to plan, his reaction, the childish disappointment, was brilliant. It was that very moment that showed how truly incredible Ledger was in the role. It was both hilarious and frighteningly monstrous in the same moment – and that is the Joker.

Anyone else have any favourite moments? Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet might want to avoid reading the comments.


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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Dark Knight: Dissecting The Film”

  1. B'dumon 23 Jul 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I’m not reading this for another fortnight or so.

    However(!), Nicholson’s Joker was absolutely terrible. It was Jack, acting as Jack. Just like he always does.

    I’m also hoping Eckhart’s amazing cos he definitely has the potential to be and hardly ever gets decent roles… suppose his Thank You For Smoking one makes up for a lot of the crap though.

  2. Ray Foleyon 23 Jul 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Hmmm. I thought Dent’s ‘turning’ happened all too easily.

    For a guy who was SO cleaner-than-clean it seemed just a tad simple for him to become two-face. His madness wasn’t as evident as it probably should have been. Eckhart wasn’t one of my high points. His makeup/cgi was very cool though.

  3. Letteon 23 Jul 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Im going on friday with 5 hairbrained teens, should be fun, I love batman, and Bale to be honest, I find him a convincing actor as the batman as well as being the only batman that is actually easy on the eye and has an actual interest in martial arts and decent acting!!! looking forward to it ill do a review too 🙂

  4. Lottieon 24 Jul 2008 at 9:28 am

    That;s it. I am placing a moratorium on Dark Knight reviews until I have seen the film. Spread the word!

  5. Darrenon 24 Jul 2008 at 11:37 pm

    @B’Dum Read it, read it – Batman dies!!! Mwahahahahaha! Eckhart is remarkable!

    @Ray I think the point is that he was always tentatively close to slipping over the edge anyway. It just took that one major event to make him flip. Remember the bad guy he was going to beat up earlier in the movie?

    @Lette Looking forward to your review. Hope the teens don’t annoy you too much. 🙂

    @Lottie Soon, soon you’ll see it too.

  6. bat-martinon 09 Aug 2008 at 6:35 am

    one of my favorite scenes was the disapearing pencil, having seen “the Dark Knight” several times I think it was both hilarious and it also spoke volumes about the Joker’s sense of timing and “scheming.” The Joker is certainly one of the most meticulous and broad visioned nemisis of the Caped Crusader.

  7. movie junkieon 28 Aug 2008 at 11:00 pm

    i still wish Katie Holmes had stayed on board as Rachel Dawes for the Dark Knight; it was like the time spent getting familiar with her character in Batman Begins was wasted…

  8. Darrenon 01 Sep 2008 at 3:38 pm

    @Bat-martin Agreed. Absolutely brilliant. A well thought out and supremely dark character.

    @MovieJ Really? I agree that it was a very different Dawes, but Holmes was, for me, the weak link in the first movie.

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