Everything Else

The Dark Knight

Good movies are those that make you ponder. When you leave the intimate enclosure of the cinema back into the real world, these movies are constantly on your lips. Christopher Nolan’s latest edition of the Batman series, The Dark Knight, is one such movie. I have watched twice in as many days and I am still awed and impressed.

The action starts the moment the show begins, and the serpentine twists and turns are akin to taking a ride on a hellish roller coaster – you never know how sharp an angle you are going and you certainly can’t predict where it’s going. It stuns, it amazes, it surprises and it shocks.

Much has been said about the late Heath Ledger’s performance, many are calling for a posthumous Oscar for the talented but short-lived Australian actor. Was it odd watching him work his craft on the silver screen? Is his performance an Oscar-worthy (not that many winners of the statuette truly deserves to win) one?

The truth is, watching the Joker sidle up and cackle on screen is a terrifying experience. You never know what he is capable of doing, you don’t know who he is going to target next. He’s so psychopathic that he is unreal and yet, you feel a twinge of regret for this demented soul. And so, this would have been a career-defining role for Heath Ledger because it brought him to a depth that he had probably never known before. It shows us a Heath Ledger we have never seen before, one who poured his heart and soul into giving the Joker twisted flesh and blood.

Christian Bale, as always, is a fine actor whose eyes flash with emotions even as his face remains impassive. The intensity of his brooding eyes is unbearable, the wry curve of his mouth tells you that he is a man who isn’t comfortable in his own skin. While Heath Ledger dominates the screen, Christian Bale is more than adept at holding his own against such an electrifying force. His Batman is like a deceptive sea: it looks calm and cool on the surface but the undercurrents are deadly. When they face off in the movie, the screen buzzes with tension and anticipation.

The best thing about Christopher Nolan is his immaculate and astonishing work ethic. He has an amazing eye for detail and is not careless, not with the timeline or the story or the characters. He is able to weave an intricate and complex tale that does not require much suspension of disbelief. He draws out the depths of the character and paces the movie evenly and perfectly. In a time when superhero movies treat plots as secondary to the action, he bucks the trend by crafting a story that’s so amazing that you wish you could savour it again.

It’s a dark and dreadful Gotham City and someone needs to the fall guy.

This is definitely one of the best movies I have watched.