Sunday, July 20, 2008
Dark Knight is amazing in so many ways. It smashes many ideas of one dimensional characters that we often see in comic fair. Batman is being attacked on two fronts. In love and war. We find that his love interest is tired of the save the world routine and is dating the District Attorney and the Criminal world have turned to a character like The Joker to get rid of The Batman. Even Gotham's towns folk are tired of the Batman as well because the body counts continues to rising in the battle between cops and robbers and they are the collateral damage. So Batman finds himself unliked, unloved and wanted.
The Joker is one of the finest villains you will ever see on screen. Heath Ledger will win the Oscar for this role. The Joker is a villain who rises above thuggery. He is on a higher mission. He calls himself an agent of Chaos. This is what makes him so dangerous. He has no vulnerable sides. He is the great disrupter to the status quo. He is in it for the sport of it. The Joker burns a mountain of money because it mean nothing to him. This film in many ways is a biblical battle between Gabriel and Lucifer. The agent of Order vs the agent of Chaos. Yen meets Yang. As the plot thickens the Joker puts life so clearly to Batman (to us)..."We need each other. You can't kill me and I can't kill you".
The Dark Knight is a defining film of our times. It does not give us answers, but asks us questions. The imperial idea of what is good and what is evil is not so simple any more. As a Nation we seem to have lost our way. By any means necessary is the new motto. Laws are only to enforce on those we see as criminals. We want to be right at any costs. The right God, The right Oil and the right brand of freedom. When a great nation doubts it self it needs someone to fight to define it's ideas. And the agents of chaos hiding in the mountains of far away lands need an empire to fight, an oppressor to destroy.
In one of the final scenes Batman has the Joker suspended upside down and as the Joker explains to Batman that he can't kill him because he needs him. The camera rotates 180 to give a Joker world view and we find even in all his killing he is an agent to serve the same universe. Batman realizes this is true. We are looking in the mirror at self. There is very little difference between these two Knights they are twin brothers. The quote by Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", comes to mind and the Joker is an equalizer very similar to the battle between the Architect and the Oracle in the Matrix. It's as if these films are trying to remind us of our humanity. In our digital age or differences can travel as fast as our similarities if we chose to focus on them. I am my brothers keeper.