Popcorn, anyone?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Knight In Shining Armour.....

While my gut (yes, my GUT...in your face) tells me that nothing is perfect, my eyes and my mind (and my heart....quite romantic, yes) heartily/mindily/eye-ily (sorry for that) disagree.

That was a very weird introduction. It conveyed absolutely nothing (except, maybe, that I've gone mad).

Anyway, my madness aside, The Dark Knight is......well, it's perfect, ok? Go watch it. What the hell's the point of me telling you what's so great about it if I'm not allowed to include spoilers? Blah-blah-blah.

Fine, here goes, then.

I'm gonna start off with the obvious question: Does Heath Ledger Live Up To The Hype His Role And His Acting Created?

No. He didn't.

Surprised? Well, that's purely because he FAR EXCEEDED anything that anybody could've ever said about him. It's a pristine (though villanous) performance by a man who surely would've gone on to become one of the most respected actors the world has ever seen.

It's amazing how he's created so many character quirks for the Joker and even more amazing how he maintains ALL of them, right till the end of the film. However repulsive the sight of him licking his lips, however shaggy his eccentric mop of hair, however evil his saccharine voice, you just can't help worship the guy.

Kudos to the scriptwriters (the Nolan brothers) for creating one of the most remarkable characters in the history of cinema. Well, maybe most of the credit goes to the prolific Bob Kane for creating the Joker in the first place, but it's the Nolan bros who manage to bring out the best (or worst, I guess) in him for the first time.

With all due respect to Messr. Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger has more than made his director proud. What Nicholson lacked, for no fault of his own, was a rock-solid script and, for fault of his own, a vision. This is where Heath Ledger scores (apart from in all other areas, actually).

There were media reports of him locking himself up in a sleazy hotel room for a month to prepare for the role. That's where he came up with the unique lip-smacking, the voice and the walk for his Joker. If you see him on screen, you'll know that this genius more than just did his homework: he created a work of art Picasso would be proud to claim as his own.

Heath Ledger lives on. It's a performance that'll draw you to the silver screen time and time again, no matter how well-versed you are with the movie.

Oh yeah, there's the Batman, too, isn't there? Haha, I almost forgot, how funny.

Christian Bale, eh? Well, the name sounds familiar (think American Psycho. More recently, think Batman Begins). See, Batman Begins was Bale's film. And he was outstanding. He was refreshing, he had the intelligence to change his voice everytime he adorned the Batsuit (unlike Blondie Clark Kent who, in a decision that still doesn't make any sense, decided to pull a string of his hair down to "disguise" himself. Micky Contractor, sir, you listening?) and he was just a helluva lot better than Chocolate Boy (Old Guy, actually) George Clooney or Holier-Than-Thou Val Kilmer. This guy could think.

He hasn't changed much. Save for his body which is fitter, tighter and a lot musclier than it was before. It suits him and, of course, Batman.

But it's not his fault that this flim doesn't really belong to him (I might've mentioned someone called Heath Ledger above....hell, he should posthumously buy the rights to this film, it's his all the way). True, he's still magnificent as the Caped Crusader but you just can't help waiting for him to clash with the Joker. And when they DO clash, you just can't help blocking Batman right outta your mind. Again, it's not Bale's fault. He's still awesome and he's still the best damned Batman ever. Maybe the next film'll have somebody less talented than him. Who knows? I hear they're planning to resurrect the Riddler and if that happens.......well, you all know Batman doesn't like mind games.

Of the supporting cast, Michael Cane emerges, yet again, as an extremely bankable actor. He exudes his natural wit and charm even in the role of Butler Royale, Alfred. To say that he supports Bruce Wayne/Batman on his extremely able shoulders, would be an insult to the man. He handles with care, yes, but without his advice, without his spontaneous dialogues, the film would've stagnated; Batman wouldn't've known what to do or how to move on (oh damn, that's a sort of spoiler, isn't it?). Yes, Michael Cane rocks.

Aaron Eckhart. Oh man, I had seriously no expectations from this guy. For one, he looks weird and two, he's just not that popular an actor, let's face it. BUT (finger raised, pointing in the air, fierce expression in eyes for effect), he's just too good. If ever a Harvey Dent exists in real life, Eckhart draws the most amazing parallels with him in reel life. He's simple awesome as the flambouyant yet restrained DA of Gotham City and he's so damned convincing, you just keep on wondering whether he's been a lawyer before. Rock on, Mr.Eckhart!

Morgan Freeman will, I guess, have to settle for his blink-and-you-miss role in the new Batman Series. While in Batman Begins he was there to explain and to create and to invent, in the Dark Knight, he's incredibly effective as the inventor with morals, Lucius Fox, specially in that scene where he "resigns". Amazing.

Gary Oldman, as always, is marvellous. Jim Gordon, the character he essays, is more of a hero than anybody knows and the Dark Knight is his mantle to prove it. The stage is yours, Mr.Oldman.

A special mention must be made of the kick-ass cinematography and the extremely, extremely, extremely detailed make-up. You know, as the film progresses, you start seeing the Joker's face-paint peeling off, cracking in places and you think the make-up guy's've goofed off.....but you soon realize that it's all part of the "plan" (contradictory to the Joker's theory, by the way) and the lack of attention to detail is, paradoxically, very detailed! Take a bow Mr.Cinematographer and Mr.Make-up Guys(s).

Hans Zimmer is GOD. The background score for the movie is so damned awesome, there's no way you won't feel a part of the movie when you watch it. And it's been used to amazingly. Mr.Zimmer, shimmer and shine, your music's divine.

So, yeah, that's it, I guess. Covers all aspects of the movie, I hope.

So go and watch it, I give it a full on 5/5 (the only time since the Shawshank Redemption).

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