The Dark Knight


Written on 10:37 AM by Hemanth Kumar

Title: The Dark Knight
Language: English

Year of Release: 2008

Director: Christopher Nolan

Actors: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman.

For the past 8 years of so, ever since I switched my loyalty to Star Movies, HBO, I have tried to ask myself what is it about Hollywood flicks that makes me watch more and more? For the past 8 years I haven't been able to understand why I have fallen in love with movies so much!!! For the past 8 years, I have tried to compare one movie after the other and come to a conclusion which is my favourite movie of all...I think, my search ends now and on 20th July, 2008 I got the answer for my quest so far. I saw "The Dark Knight".

Before getting into the details of the story, a little bit about the reviews I had read before watching the flick...Rottentomatoes gives a 90% fresh rating, IMDB ranks it at no.1 among the Top 250 movies of all time, atleast for now...and among the Indian Critics, Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gives a 4 star rating out of 5. And added to that little reviews from my friends added to my curiosity. Too many good things...huh?! I guess the best was yet to come and the IMAX version of the flick (I somehow managed to get a ticket for Sunday) made the "best" a little better!!!..

Sitting in the 5th row from the screen amidst a packed crowd, the story unfolded. The flick opens with a bank robbery which the antagonist, Joker (Heath Ledger) carries out along with others. The nemesis of the criminals in Gotham, Batman (Christian Bale) has been largely successful in controlling the crime rate along with Lieutenant James Gordon. But as the new District Attorney, Harvey Dent(Aaron Eckhart) vows to put every lawbreaker behind the bars, Batman is forced to reconcile his resolution to save the city all alone. He finally decides to give up everything and let Harvey take control. But before he would do it, he's confronted with Joker, the lip smacking, greasy, pyschopath, whose main aim is to spread chaos across Gotham forcing everyone to madness. He demands that Batman must come forward and make his identity public, saying that the city needs the hero with a face.

The rest of the story...well, I am gonna leave it to you to watch it on the Big screen! Because to reveal everything would be like trying to explain how Leonardo painted his "Mona Lisa"....[:-)]

I find it rather difficult to not use any superlatives/adjectives for the spectacular work done by each and every department and each and every character associated with the flick. But have got two words for Nolan and Ledger, Fuckin Awesome!!!!!! I don't know what it takes to be a genius at something, I think it's only after you see the product that you appreciate the creator. Christopher Nolan, who's directed films like, Memento, Prestige, Batman Begins pulls off another masterpiece. Never reeling into boredom, this 150 min+ flick packs a powerful punch especially in terms of the pace of the storyline; the characters just keep getting better and better and the same with the action.

I think the initiative to do away with "Breaks/Intervals" for an English flick is one of the good things which has been introduced. Popcorn and Cool Drinks, will be sold anyway!!! But it's the experience to watch a English flick uninterrupted for this long which pays off eventually. Never giving you a moment to ponder upon any possible loopholes, everyone around is sucked into the mood of the film. Dark beyond one's imagination, you cannot help but gaze with a feeling of awe at Joker's evil mechanisms. To masterfully spread havoc across a city requires either a genius or as Joker would put it, someone who just does it without any plan!!! He's evil beyond one could fathom to an extent which leaves a lump in your throat at the end of it. My favourite scene from the movie is that 5 minute scene where people aboard a ferry have to decide who lives....what a scene!!!

To cater to your adrenaline, there are enough fights, guns, bombs, chases, I love the Batpod!!! But it's not gory where you find blood spilling around...I think the lump in my throat had to do more with the fact that, you are actually trying to understand what Joker would do next, who's the next to die, how will he carry out his evil plans, for a moment, you are one among the denizens of Gotham. Watch out for that scene where Batman chases Joker in his Batpod and eventually flips the truck at a 180 degree angle, and his own Batpod doing a 360!!!!....Stunner!!! Truly one of the several "Woah" moments in the flick...

I have always wondered, how writers create a character; and my curiosity just got increased after seeing Joker and Harvey Dent! Such variations in their characters, your heart goes out to them in both ways, sure they are both dark and evil in the end, but the reason why they have turned that way and they would end up doing; you cannot take your eyes off them and at times you want to see them more than Batman! Probably for the first time, it's a villain who overshadows a superhero...the menacing, lip smacking, man of the moment is the Joker, portrayed so brilliantly by Heath Ledger. Truly a performance which is worthy of Oscar and almost every other award imaginable. For a moment, I suspected that his facial expressions might come close to "V" in "V for Vendetta". But Heath Ledger completely takes you by surprise with his awesome portrayal of Joker. His versions of how how got a big smile on his face, the simplicity with which he drives everyone around him into confusion, chaos sends a chill down your spine. And kudos to the writers who have given him some memorable one-liners. Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart is another surprise package. He's sincere, focused as the DA, but equally scary as the "Two Face" who would stop at nothing to exact revenge.

You must be wondering why I haven't put a word for Christian Bale who's donning that Batsuit for the second time in a row! Well, that's what he does through most part of the flick...with Joker around, he doesn't face the camera as the charismatic Billionaire Bruce Wayne for long, except when he's conversing with Alfred, his Butler (Micheal Caine) and Fox (Morgan Freeman) or partying with some blondes and meeting Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal). If at all, I have a problem with this film...then that would be the voice modulation of Batman once he gets into that suit...somehow, he sounds like Sylvester Stallone with a sore throat!!...:-P...but that doesn't matter, because he's got this awesome Batpod this time...and performs some death-defying stunts, whether he's flying across Hongkong skyscrapers or in Gotham. And everytime, he dives from the top of a skyscraper, you wish you had that suit with you!!!

And finally, the director of the movie, Christopher Nolan. I bow to the genius and his team who have come up with such dark interpretation of the characters from this comic book. He's really pushed Batman far ahead than Spiderman, who's the closest superhero to Batman who has been brought to life on screen. (Somehow, in all these years, Superman is the only character who's got such ridiculous interpretations...after having watched all these superheroes, I think it's time for a makeover for Superman!). The filming with IMAX cameras is a big asset to the flick, and the CGI is out of the world. Watch Harvey Dent after he turns into "Two Face" if you don't believe me...

I think I can go on like this...but the fact of the matter is, I understand what I have been looking for. I have a perspective that there's no shortage of creative talent and irrespective of what region it comes from, it will eventually find its audience. I bow to the entire team of "The Dark Knight" for delivering this gem of a movie and specifically to Wally Pfister, the Cinematographer of the flick, Zimmer and Howard who composed the music, Christopher Nolan, the Director and Heath Ledger who's delivered a awesomely scary performance as Joker. He's in a way, the very reason why you should watch this movie.

Sometimes, I get this feeling that film critics across the world have been little harsh on the flick. Why rate it only at 4 out of 5?! Its not every time, you end up with tears in your eyes and clap at the end, unless you have seen something overwhelmingly terrific. I am gonna go with 5 out of 5 for this flick and without hesitation, I declare that this is the best Action/Superhero flick I have ever seen...cancel all your plans this weekend and make all possible attempts to get tickets for this flick. Make sure you watch it only in the best cinema hall in your place( the best would be IMAX, if it's playing there), and if you are in the city of Hyderabad, please watch it only in Prasads, IMAX. It belongs to the rarest set of flicks which give a feeling of "Awesomeness!!!".

I wonder if 90% rating on Rottentomatoes is this good, then how would a 97% rating for a flick be!! Watch out for that's the latest from the house of Pixar Studios..and it's called "WALL-E".