Dark Knight the Bright Light

There is something about Batman that attracted me as a kid. The first reason was because of quizzing trivia attached to it especially the inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci drawing. I saw the animated series on DD sometimes, with the whole ‘pow’ punches for camp effect. Then in engineering I met a guy who actually collected original Batman comics (in India you had a lot of fake reprints) who explained the whole ‘dark’ concept about it. But the first Batman movie I saw: ‘Batman and Robin’ was a huge disappointment. In the meanwhile, I have heard a lot of Batman history and trivia from some colleagues but I also missed the resurrection, Batman Begins.

Cut to The Dark Knight. This is the first Hollywood Blockbuster after Casino Royale that I have watched in sneaks. And it was more than paisa vasool.

I have been a big fan of blockbusters rather than comic book heroes; although Batman is the only one I have actually read more. To me the movie works on both counts.

It is kind of counterintuitive, but it is true that a superhero movie is better if the villain more powerful, menacing and unpredictable. So if you want to make a good superhero movie, focus on the quality of villainy, not the histrionics of the hero.

And the Dark Knight pays complete homage to the above rule. Heath Ledger’s Joker shines through this movie engulfing you into his menacing ways. A devil needs character and also characterization, and there are enough dialogues and scenes that do it well in this movie. Moreover the screenplay is so perfect, that the interplay of characters and the situations is always poignant, tense and engaging. And it succeeds in creating an enjoyable movie not for its special effects but for the raw human emotion behind its characters. And Batman is not truly a superhero; he is at best a guy with better access to technology.

There are some absolutely stand out scenes, like Joker’s entry scene with the pencil, the social experiment on the ship, some incredible action sequences where Batman almost lassoes a truck. The movie is also peppered with intelligent dialogues and zingy one-liners.

I can probably write a bit more, but since everyone would have watched this movie due to the saturation release policy let me just end by saying if you wondered if Hollywood had forgotten to make a blockbuster, watching this will redeem the faith in the direction of the superhero genre by Christopher Nolan and the studios ability to continue to build the hype.