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The Dark Knight : Christopher Nolan

(I’m going to try my best to limit the use of superlatives here but in all likelihood, this write-up will seem biased. But then again, I’m the kind of Batman fan you’d stay away from – the kind that owns all the landmark graphic novels, books his ticket a month in advance, queues up at the cinema two hours beforehand sporting a Batman t-shirt and foams at the mouth during the screening. Blame it on Stendhal I say.)

The Dark Knight is by far the finest cinema experience I’ve had in the last few years. It’s a rich, dark, complex and compelling crime saga told so brilliantly that you’ll have to remind yourself that it’s based on a comic book character who runs around in a cape and cowl. The film surpasses it’s predecessor on almost every level. A lot has been said about the performances but what struck me the most was the solid writing. The screenplay is outstanding and borrows heavily from The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns with lines that never seem forced and are sure to elicit some sort of debate on vigilantism and surveillance.

Every successful comic book film has to have unforgettable villains and TDK delivers there. Heath Ledger’s Joker is a maniac – an absolute that runs rampant through Gotham. He has no motives and no back story; he simply refers to himself as an ‘agent of chaos’. Ledger’s performance can hardly be called a performance; it’s more or less free form improv. I cannot imagine any other actor inhabiting a character that psychotic. It will go down in history as iconic. Period. Harvey Dent‘s character arc is fantastically realized too. Dent is the white knight as opposed to the morally ambiguous Batman; a man Bruce Wayne wishes he was but cannot be. Dent’s transformation into Harvey Two-Face…well, the less said, the better.

Despite taking comic book liberties, the film explores serious themes; mostly dwellings on the nature of heroism and our innate need for heroes. Not once do you feel like it aspires to be something that talks down to you. For once, a comic book film takes itself and the audience seriously and treads that fine line between pulp art and reality.

Sadly, The Dark Knight does have flaws that keep it away from masterpiece territory. The James Gordon arc felt a bit forced at times and the sequence at the beginning with the copycat Bat-men felt like it belonged in a different movie altogether. However, at the end of the day, this is fantastic and mind-blowingly brilliant pop art – a film that raises the bar so high that it’s next to impossible to follow it up with something this good.

9.5/10

(Oh and I have tickets to a double-bill screening of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight for this Sunday. Be jealous.)

Categories: Books, Movies and Reviews thereof, Comic Books, Films.

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14 Responses

  1. Dear boy,
    am oh so jealous of you. For reasons outlined below.

    1. You are one heck of a movie-critic-writer-fella, or whatever you guys want to call it fancily.
    2. You’ve seen the movie.

    Bah. *I think I shall pout some more*

  2. Oh, I’m dying here. I have to wait ANOTHER MONTH as in 35 DAYS until it’s released here. *cry*

    And I don’t even know if there will be a double feature possible.

    I’m sorry, but I hate you right now.

  3. Dude, I’m so psyched about the film. I am aching to see it. Ticket’s have been booked, anticipation is at an all time high, and i cannot wait for tomorrow. From all that I’ve heard and read, it looks like an unforgettable experience.

  4. It’s out here!!! I’m going tomorrow!!!

  5. @rads: You are too kind m’am.

    Also, you might want to think twice before taking the little one to this. Frankly, I’m surprised the film isn’t rated R. Moments of intense peril. :)

    @kalafudra: Since you have to wait for like 35 days, I suggest you watch it only on the IMAX. Mindblowing experience I tell you.

    @Baphomet: Unforgettable it is…leaves you staggering at the end of it all. Plus knowing you, I’m sure you’ll spot flaws too but nonetheless, this is the best comic book adaptation to date and blows everything else out of the water.

    @lumeno: Call me when you get tickets, brother! :)

  6. The double bill screening .. that has to be awesome. Is that in IMAX too ?

  7. I did not get tickets to the IMAX over here. Anyway My show’s at 0700hrs tmw(so I’ll have to get up at 0545 damn!its been a long time since I got up at that time)
    I hope its worth it.

  8. Tomorrow night with “The Dark Knight” for me :)

  9. The IMAX theater tickets have been sold out for the next 1 week. (sob)

  10. Awesome ! :)

    AnonymousJuly 21, 2008 @ 5:26 amReply
  11. When you mentioned that Daniel Day Lewis(a good one even tho I doubt he’ll agree) might play the next joker, All I could think of his accent(there will be blood)….”Ladies and Gentleman, I’m the Joker..”- be amusing ,it ll.

  12. I bought the Batman Begins DVD before The Dark Knight was released. Now waiting for The Dark Knight’s DVD! I need to start building my collection. This movie was so freaking awesome. I regret not watching it in IMAX.

  13. Overrated…

    T Kiran MenonAugust 14, 2008 @ 5:18 amReply



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