Jul 23 2008
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.
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.
One 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.