Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Nolan’

Omigod! I might have been changed. Forever. By the Dark Knight.

I caught the flick last night, having been denied tickets earlier on during the weekend. I could hardly wait for the film to begin, for the images and sounds to assault my senses. And Omigod!

Okay, even if I hadn’t heard about it I would have gone, being a huge fan of Christian bale and Christopher Nolan both. Are you kidding? Would the guy who gave us the Memento and The Prestige, give us anything less? Of course not! And he doesn’t.

Instead what he gives us is a deep, thought-provoking film masquerading as a superhero film. Usually in a superhero film the plot is secondary to the FX. This is not the case here. The plot is as central to the movie as the high octane action.

Bu now most of you know what the story is. But just in case, here it is again: Batman’s beloved Gotham city has gone to seed. Mafia bosses rule and though Gotham has two champions fighting for it – Police Commissioner Gordon, and the new DA, Harvey Dent, they can only do some much since most of their people have sold out to the Mafia. Into this cesspool, a weary Batman brings his vigilante style of justice, hitting the Mafia where it hurts them most – their wallets.

To tackle the menace of Batman, the Mafia bosses unleash upon Gotham, upon Batman and indeed upon themselves an enigmatic, anarchic figure – the Joker.

The rest of the movie is all about – you got it, Batman versus the Joker.

But what is different about this movie is that it is not all about the good guy saving the day and winning in the end. When the Joker says he will kill Rachel (Batman’s long time love and Dent’s current squeeze) he does so. When he says he will blow up a hospital he does so. There’s no Batman arriving, cape flying and all, to save the day. All he can do is watch helplessly.

Indeed what can you do against a man who has no love for life (including his own) or money? Whom no amount of money can seduce? Whose only objective is chaos, done, preferably, in a spectacular fashion? (A thinly veiled allusion to terrorists perhaps?)

In that sense, Nolan takes a comic book story and turns it into a movie of our times. Gone are the days of squeaky clean superheros (Hancock and now Dark Knight). In these stories the superheroes have their own demons and failings, it is no longer possible to tell right from wrong. All they can do is follow their heart and hope it leads them in the right direction. The only thing they do know is that giving up is not an option. Even if it earns them the condemnation of the very people they are fighting to protect. I’m told it’s more like Bob Kane’s original visualisation of Batman and Frank miller’s take on it.

Nolan imbues a dark, haunting, brooding quality into the film. The film is thick with atmosphere. The performances are first rate. The FX spectacular. If there’s a problem it is that there are too many characters and too many things going on. Repeat viewing, more than an indulgence, might be a necessity to get a handle on all the characters and goings-on. And I can’t think of a more enjoyable chore. A must repeat watch.

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