Why do we Fall?
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cillian Murphy, Chin Han, Michael Jai White, Nestor Carbonell, Eric Roberts and Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth.
Does it depress you to know just how insignificant you really are? Does it depress you that everything you see in your medium driven world, that you will always be ordinary? Does it depress you that Batman does not exist? Does it depress you that your entire life is a living JOKE?!
I'll never forget the day Batman Begins ended with a look at the joker card. The entire auditorium was screaming in excitement; they didn't want it to end. Three years later, The Dark Knight was coming. I was in Europe for two weeks. We took a two day stop in England before going to Germany. It was midnight and I wanted to see what was on British television programming. First channel I saw was the news. The second was the topic. The headline read "Heath Ledger...Deceased". I woke up all 30 students that evening and they all tuned in. We never slept that day. D-Day arrived two days before the American release and the same 30 students and I were present at the movie theater. We had planned the afternoon and we walked out speechless.
A year has passed since Batman came into the night in Gotham city. Gothamites everywhere were either afraid of him or thankful. A new character arrives to town. His name, is Joker. No other alias, and no real name, except his comic book birth name: Unknown. Of all the criminals in the DC universe, Joker is best known as the Clown Prince of Crime (or Chaos), the Harlequin of Hate (Havoc), and the Ace of Knaves. The funny part, is that for all his actions, for all the people he's killed, for all the mayhem in the aftermath, he was never crazy. Heath Ledger, a man no one thought would break the ceiling, gave his best, his last, and his most memorable performance of 2008. It won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and well deserved. How many people can say they lost to a dead guy? I kid. For half a decade, all I've read was Ledger was the best Joker and Nicholson was crap. Hell, they've gone as far as to compare the cartoon versions to the two iconic actors. My opinion? Well, it's three different jokers based on their available source material. Nicholson gave us the clown with more campiness than seriousness. He simply had fun without abandoning his crude humor. Where Heath Ledger comes in and plays a psychopath; a true madman that brings to life the current embodiment of the Joker today's readers are more familiar with. Mark Hamill just made the best voice over, period. Basically, there is no reason to say one is better than the other. Different times, different approaches, all well respected and memorable.
This review has been a battle. I've done countless research to make sure it was a perfect critique. To know Batman, you must know his villains. Every great villain has an eqaul adverary. No man has ever taken Batman to higher lengths than Joker. If you remember Alfred's monologue about how some men think, it is a clear example of how you can understand the psyche of Joker. He never shows signs of insanity. Sure, his wires get crossed, but he sees everything in a new light. We are not introduced to a back story nor is the toxic waste accident the condition to why he acts the way he does. Keep in mind this is the "Nolanverse" of DC. Joker is just your average terrorist with nothing but knives and lint. He tells us his back story with regards to his facial scars. When you listen to those and why he believes chaos and anarchy are needed, is because he's a villain who believes that what has been done wrong in his life, the world to should pay for his harm, whereas Batman is the opposite, in which a wrong was done to him and he gives the world hope instead of vengeance. Basic psychology. It's a type of logical agenda. He's only after something with no bargain.
The battle between Joker and Batman is a matter of the minds. Talented in their own respective rights. They reflect each other's actions like Superman to Luthor. The only goal for the Joker is to prove that the purest of men can be corrupted, and enters Harvey Dent (Eckhart). Known as Two Face, he was the White Knight of Gotham, striving to lock up all the criminals in the city with justice, like Batman without his suit. Bruce Wayne was ready to leave the mantle and pass the torch to Harvey, but even Joker doesn't like cheaters. he breaks Dent, takes away the love of both Wayne and Harvey, and bends the rules once more. All to prove a point. That justice can be challenged with injustice. That if you can destroy innocence, there is no such thing. If you can corrupt the incorruptible, it's all worth nothing. Life, my friend, is one big fat, Joke. And it was all to see if Batman would break his one rule.
Christian Bale delivers yet another brilliant Bruce Wayne. Like Keaton before him, he is overshadowed by Ledger's masterful performance of the decade. He reaches the depth of once again, choosing to stay as Batman or have a normal life with the one he loves. But as we've noticed, the mission is never over. Criminals will always come back, and the world, as much as Superman, needs a Batman. Did you know that Two Face was to be the villain for the third Batman, and was squeezed in to compete the third act? The Dark Knight brings as much complexity to the realm of batman as well as the best cast of the year. All actors play off each other. Friendships are formed and bonds broken. when the first scene was underway. Heath was inspired by Kubrick's Sid Vicious, and created a new character. Eckhart shines far and beyond. Bale is the best Batman, where he continues to mask his voice to better conceal his identity.
Once Again, Christopher Nolan maintains his practicality before utilizing CGI. Entering IMAX, he makes a very realistic flying Batman over Hong Kong and blends his scenes fluidly with fast pacing and slow downed drama that keeps you guessing. We get a new Batsuit that solves the problem of being able to move the head around and a much more agile hero. It worked for the best, and FINALLY! Take that Iron Man. He achieves providing the audience with some of the most gut wrenching suspense my mind has ever had to endeavor. Would Batman and Gordon reach Dent and Rachel in time before the explosion? Would the two ferryboats blow up in Joker's favor to finally show Batman that the world is a meaningless petri dish? And would Batman be driven to the breaking point of finally killing someone? Bruce is as much of a human as all of us. It makes him appealing. He has deep self discipline we cannot fathom. He endures, and endures, and endures.
Hans Zimmer creates an even better soundtrack than Batman Begins. He gives Joker his own maniacal theme that is sharp and sophisticated while not trying to ignore the insanity and malevolence; he wills it to be as dark and cold as the night. Even Heath Ledger directed his video blogs that were provided to GCN.
Overall, this was the biggest psychological adventure of the decade, when you don't compare it to Inception of Prestige. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if all movies have some sinister connection that would just mind crush me into submission. The Dark Knight went on to become the third biggest movie of all time and held that record proudly for nearly half a decade. It provided the greatest performance, and the heartbreaking fallout. Heath Ledger will be missed, but not forgotten; gone too soon and we'll never see how far he would have gone. Don't look so serious, because the third act, is right around the corner. Let's see what gets broken the most. The Man or the Symbol.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.
*Secondary research provided by the World Wide Web*