The Dark Knight is Christian Bale but Heath Ledger, no pun intended, owns the knight. His dilapidated quality is a graceful mess, one can easily get lost in his skin as he disappears in it. Although it creeps me out to hug the dead, I did do exactly that while in the darkness of the theatre. There was pain mingled with awe that such tragedy had to happen to such a great thespian. All I ever thought of was him, all I ever noticed was him and all his words resonated with such effervescent applaud, again from him. Posthumous or not, one thing is true, I was happy to watch a ghost even if I am fully aware that my walk to the parking lot will be nothing but sombre sighs for the fallen actor.
No one told me that bad make up can ever be exhilarating to watch and listen to. The dance that he had to make to egg his archenemy to tango is so disorganized it was genius. His character is well acted by Ledger that Joker becomes a storm that refuses to be boxed, to be defined and to be rooted of his origins. Somehow it tells us that it is possible ‘crazy clown’ can be just … hmm, crazy clown. He is self deprecating explaining his thirst for chaos; he compares it to a dog running after a car, when really his aptitude is just as decent as Bruce – just on the opposite side of course. One way or another, Nicolson’s portrayal of the Joker is pale compared to what Ledger offered. Oh yeah, Jack was playing Jack as The Joker, but there is no way you can see Ledger under his performance. He was wearing The Joker’s balls and juggled it oh so gracefully and succintly. It was visceral, raw and intense one can easily believe it was the death of him. What a way to say bye bye but with a cackle so chilling, it only means that wherever he lands, he still wins. He does complete Batman; without him, his infallible life as a cape crusader would’ve just been a poor call for attention. But with The Joker in the picture, a need is created for heroes with conscience and then some.
Christopher Nolan’s second installment of Batman – is a visual playground chockfull of strong tasteful violence – presents us to a Gotham that is but a cesspool of corruption, two timing, false hope and freaks. It fits perfectly that we see Batman and The Joker slug it out here. His irrational need to save and his irrational need to destroy … their tango, sublime. The thesis presented by the good and evil rings true for people in the real world, that it tips the balance of the viewers belief as it runs its two hours and thirty five minute run. Some people can bitch all they want but fans are thirsty for more.
Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman is also well received. His sadist ways is so arrogant, he commands us to believe that this is his only choice. The suffering hero finally pushes the knife deeper when he is challenged to be torn from his rules. You can taste the violence raging in his head and somehow, in case he makes a mistake, you’ll understand. The sore spot is also goaded by the fact that he is a vigilante wanting to be normal, and yet he seems more comfortable in a mask than in his own face. He cannot deny his value, but he can’t also deny his desolation. Bale rocks it hard when he is in action and his introduction of the new Bat Pod (motorcycle), is candy to child. The way he nonchalantly impaled his Lamborghini, cool. And the way he effortlessly banged Joker’s head on the table, shrewd. I particularly loved it when his disembodied voice is heard before seeing him in a corner. Bale is a method man so fit for the tormented hero, it’s impressive.
The Dark Knight’s plot is devilishly simple – keep the bad guys at bay. However, I will not spoil your appetite by giving you the gist, just go see it. But be prepared to walk home with The Joker’s poignant haughting performance and the need to see it once more.
And oh about the question I conjured after hearing The Joker’s reflection of apparent disorganization? Well nothing profound really, just the same old perennial ambiguities. But if you wanted to know, I was thinking, Is our understanding of the system any different, when very little divides us from from fiction? Think.