The Sunbaked King

The Dark Knight

BEHIND THE LINE

The Dark Knight

Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal

I’ve said this time and again: I believe in the innate goodness of man. I don’t think, even for an instance, that someone can be completely and utterly evil, so totally immersed in their malicious treatment of others, and– this is important– be aware that this is so. Call me naive or call me pitifully ignorant, but even the worst of men have their good sides, delusional or otherwise.

Christopher Nolan’s Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger) has shaken this belief to a considerable degree. By himself, the Joker is a spokesperson for evil. Chillingly cruel and atrociously anarchical, he sends Gotham City literally in flames with the ease of flicking a finger or clenching a fist. However, the scariest part about him does not lie in his capability to do grandiose acts of chaos. The scare lies in the fact that his brand of evil is mostly psychological in nature. He plays with people’s heads. Somehow he knows that the greatest damage is done when his victim has turned against himself. 

Ironically, the Joker is the only stable character in the movie, the only one you’ll trust to be doing something he is ought to do: evil. Everyone else is not so lucky to have a consistent frame of mind. The movie captures the tug-of-war between choices of morality and ethics so forcefully and effectively. The film tells us that Harvey Dent is not the only Two-Face here; we all are. Even though we don’t actually have our own coins to dictate to us what we ought to do, we have our own metrics by which we gauge our actions, we have our own versions of leaving it to fate.

In the middle of the film, there’s a ferry scene. One ferry contains Gotham City’s civilians. Another ferry contains its criminals. The Joker then decides to play a little social experiment with the two. I won’t divulge any more details, but that powerful scene encapsulates the core of my beliefs about human nature in 5 heart-pounding minutes. 

Whoever titled this film “The Dark Knight” is a genius. It’s dark, all right, and it’s staring you right at the face.

And you cannot NOT watch it.

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Filed under: Cinema, The Couch Potato

11 Responses

  1. Jeland says:

    Ditto on all counts. ;p

  2. ryce says:

    I was supposed to write an entry about this movie and you took the words out of my head… That scene was so pivotal… I held my breath the whole time…

  3. kerwinray says:

    @Jeland: Glad you agree.

    @Ryce: It was a gripping, hands-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of scene. Great movie all around.

  4. makmak says:

    Move over Captain Howdy, my fear has a new face. And it’s Heath Ledger.

  5. kerwinray says:

    @ MakMak: I wouldn’t be too excited to see any clowns (in McDo or elsewhere) soon.

  6. makmak says:

    Well if you see one, be the first to ask, “why so serious?”. Lol. 😛

  7. kerwinray says:

    Haha. Then I’ll carve his face with my plastic McDo pancake knife.

  8. patrick says:

    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

  9. kerwinray says:

    @ Patrick: Yes, they did beat Spider-man 3 for the biggest weekend opening. The hype definitely worked.

  10. tristan says:

    are you praising the joker for being consistent with his fundamental option?

    anyways, one piece of advice. don’t rewatch it with a critical mindset. just don’t.

  11. kerwinray says:

    Not praising, because his fundamental option is “wrong”; just merely stating the immovability of his option.

    I rewatched it a few hours ago. I was too sleepy to even be critical about it. Haha.

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