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The Dark Knight
Categories: Movies


Our Rating: 4.75
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Yahoo Movies Critics: A-
Yahoo Movies Users: A

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine.
Director: Christopher Nolan

It wasn’t just the hype, but rather the confluence of such amazingly talented people that had me waiting for this flick like I haven’t ever waited before. I had such great expectations out of this movie, that good movies would have crumbled before them. And, that is exactly my point-this film isn’t just good, it’s ‘dark knight’ good, a classic. Right up there with the very best of cinema. This isn’t just a superhero movie, rather it’s a smartly packaged crime drama with enough twists and turns to make the head spin. But then, Chris Nolan, being the director he is, packages these extremely well in the 140 minute run time, even finding time for some really well choreographed action sequences. There is never a dull moment, never an implausible twist, and certainly no loopholes in the script.
The film starts of with a brilliantly conceived and staged bank robbery. The Joker and his goons, wearing clown masks, break into the mob’s bank. Through the robbery, we never get to see the Joker, only hearing about him from the other goons. As the robbery progresses, the sheer brilliance of the Joker’s plan starts to emerge. Playing on his goons’ fears and distrust for each other, the Joker manages to make of with all the money himself. It’s a theme repeated often in the film-the Joker is shown as the purveyor of anarchy, playing on others’ fears to his own advantage, or rather, pleasure. He isn’t “looking for anything logical” and just wants to “watch the world burn”. Heath Ledger doesn’t just play the character, he actually becomes the character. All the mannerisms and mood swings come naturely. Nothing is forced, nothing is put-on. Ledger disappears so completely into the role, that it’s hard to imagine him in any other role.
Bale plays Batman as a tragic and flawed hero. It’s clear from the very first scene that Batman is bleeding and has too much on his plate. Not only is he fighting off the mob, but also a horde of his imposters. The general public can’t decide whether Batman is the messiah Gotham needed, or just a common thug who should be locked up. The cops treat him like a criminal, with only Gordon seeing him for the man he is. With the introduction of the Joker and his anarchy, the debate becomes stronger, with the public blaming Batman for creating the Joker. While Begins focussed on the creation of Batman, this movie focusses on the struggles of being Batman. The personal sacrifices and hard decisions are beautifully protrayed in the movie, with the ending taking the cake, and justifying the movie’s title. By the end, Batman isn’t just a vigilante in a costume, he becomes something else, something much more heroic.
Eckhart excels in the role of Harvey Dent, the courageous new Gotham DA. He is the ‘official’ version of Batman, someone who has vowed to clean the streets of Gotham while working within the framework of the law. His arrival even prompts Bruce Wayne to consider hanging up his boots and start leading a normal life. But then again, things don’t go exactly according to ‘plan’, and Harvey ends up as the villainous, coin flipping Two-Face. How the transformation takes place is the actual crux of the movie, and thus, I’ll steer clear of it.
The supporting cast (if you can call them that) of Michael Caine (as the butler, Alfred), Morgan Freeman (as Lucius Fox, the Wayne Industry inventor) and Gary Oldman (as Lt. Jim Gordon, the only honest GCPD cop), all bring their A-game to the movie, instilling a never-before-seen earnestness to their roles. Maggie Gyllenhaal adds gravitas to the pivotal role of Rachel Dawes (which was played by Katie Holmes in Begins), the love interest of both, Dent and Wayne.
The film raises important social questions about the corrupting nature of power and vesting too much power in one individual, all within the framework of a superhero movie. The scale of the movie is epic, the action is better handled than in Begins, and generally, this is one of the better movies dished out by Hollywood. It’s so good, that the hall actually burst out into applause once or twice during the show I was in. This is one of the few films that entertain, and still have a shot at the Oscars, and for that, it’s really one to be seen!

  • Harsh

    Too good…well defined review…if you want, you can use my Flick/Flop review of the same movie, considering I’m listed as an author on the page.

  • Harsh

    Too good…well defined review…if you want, you can use my Flick/Flop review of the same movie, considering I’m listed as an author on the page.