joker par excellence

Watched the 11 pm show of Dark Knight on IMAX. Doubt I ever stood in line or went to the movies a whole hour before showtime, in my entire life, but I did on Wednesday. This despite buying tickets online, and getting there at 10.05 pm and to see that the line was already outside the doors. The last time I did this was perhaps way back in India when advance tickets did not exist.

Am no movie critic and don’t shred a movie to bits on the camera, action, direction, character depths etc, and I’d like to think of me as an average movie watcher. I expect to be entertained for the time and money I spend on it. Of course entertainment can mean different things, but the movie should either relax my mind or challenge it. All’s well then.

So what I write below wouldn’t be one of those really rich and perfect reviews there are out there which do justice to all that makes The Dark Knight’ a fine movie. You have been warned. 🙂

The movie: OMG Awesome!

That outa the way, and there very well could be spoilers below, so read at your discretion:

  • The opening scene’s ruthless, crisp and sets the tone on what’s to follow nicely. Joker’s introduced and boy, the makeup couldn’t have been more sinister and eerily done.
  • I thought Rachel’s character and Maggie’s acting was umm… shabby. I’d have thought she’d put some effort and emotion in her last scene, but all she managed to do was irritate me. A bit better than what Ms. Holmes did earlier, but not anywhere what Kirsten Dunst manages consistently as MJ in Spiderman.
  • I absolutely adored Joker. The character, the portrayal, the snicker in his voice, the gleaming yellow eyes down to the flicking of his tongue as he rasps out those brilliant lines of his. The intonation, stresses on certain words and the attitude with which he slowly creeps up on you, making you laugh through the goosebumps is admirable.
How many of your friends have I killed?
How many of your friends have I killed?
  • One of the scenes where the Joker makes you laugh and actually like him is when he’s blowing up the hospital. There’s just the element of horror in what he’s done completely veiled by your fascination of what’s happening on screen. He looks strangely cute in the nurses uniform, especially when’s he’s scuttling away at the end of the scene.
  • To bring such a mixed emotion in the audience and be the one whom the audience loves to hate is a rare skill for an actor. Playing the bad guy requires a lot more prep work, dedication and understanding of the character for complete justification. To be recognized as one especially. Being the good guy is well, for the most part boring. It takes a higher level of characterization and events for adulation to set in. Of course we’ve had our share of “heroes” in bollywood and hollywood too, but frankly, it’s everyone else behind the screen who makes the actor a hero, with some amount of help from the main guy aka hero. In comparison, the bad guy despite the lines being supplied, the makeup, and the storyline has the burden of creating terror, hatred or fright on his shoulders. Making the audience break into goosepimples, getting them to the peek through the fingers, gasp and including haunting in the dreams at night, now those are the signs of a class villian. We have Amrish Puri in Mr. India, Amir Khan in Earth, Saif Ali in Omkar who’ve all done their part, as did similarly inclined actors in Hollywood. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, Alan Rickman as Hans, Lucy Lui in Kill Bill.  Heath Ledger created a terror within the hall that was tangible, a piece of which am sure almost everyone brought home with them.
  • I had no clue about the guy until he died. Yes, I actually googled him that day and felt a bit sorry considering the short life he was handed out. After watching him become Joker, I truly believe Hollywood has lost a fine actor a bit too soon.
  • One way of looking at Harvey Dent’s character is that he carries the movie forward and is based on how chance and his lines “that you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” ; which is what he ultimately proves. My way is that I felt he was stretched towards the end. The whole idea of him going cuckoo over Rachel’s death (plausible but improbable for a guy of his caliber and stance he takes earlier on in the movie) and then acting on it by abducting Gordon’s family was far-fetched. The drama lasts 20 minutes or so when he becomes two-face and goes on this spree, and somehow despite Joker’s line “I took Gotham’s white knight, and lowered him to our level. It wasn’t hard. Y’see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little…push.” it didn’t cut it.
  • The funny thing about the movie’s that almost everyone else around Bruce Wayne stand out clear while he fades into the background. Maybe it was intentional, but really Batman hardly stood out. Though handsome he was!
  • You know how in bollywood movies there are at least a dozen times when the bad guy is let slip by the good guy? Like he’s shooting, but he’d all he can manage is to get clear aim of an alleyrat’s behind, the electric pole next to the bad guy’s ear, the edge of his shirt but never really him? We all know the real reason behind it is that the producer and director is so much in love with his story that he doesn’t want to end it at all, and the chase continues with us itching to yank the gun and take our amateur best shot? Yeah, that’s how you feel with this movie too. There are at least 2 distinct instances when the joker’s tale could have ended, but no, I suppose that would have been just too ordinary for such a worthy character.
  • The dialogs are powerful, and do justice to the characters. Some reflect well into present day and personal scenarios.
  • Gotham city reminds you of NYC or even Chicago. And yeah, there only exist 2 colors, the whites and the blacks in the general population, except for the visiting squealer from HongKong.

I probably will get yelled at and chided for what Ive written considering I have some loyal Batman/superhero fans among my readers but hey, that’s what I see, and am just your average audience! My voice sorta kinda counts I’d imagine? 🙂

..and o, am going as the Joker for Halloween this year. Just need to find a party that would appreciate it and not consider me off limits to a ‘family-friendly’ environment. Maybe I could even convince the husband to be batman. aha, now there’s a plan, even if the Joker says “I don’t have a plan. The mob has plans, the cops have plans. You know what I am, Harvey? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one. I just *do* things. I’m a wrench in the gears. I *hate* plans. Yours, theirs, everyone’s”.

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it, it’s worth it. Watch it especially if you like action, or you like bad guys.

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14 replies on “joker par excellence”
  1. says: Adithya

    Whataaay Brilliant movie, no?!!

    Chris Nolan has some midas touch. If you haven’t you should get the DVDs of Insomnia, Memento, The Prestige and watch!

  2. says: rads

    Praveen: You should! What you waiting for? Rahu Kalam and yama gandam 😛

    Adithya: Totally cool! I think the IMAX experience helped. Ive watched Memento, will netflix the rest, now that we are back to watching movies. 🙂

  3. says: zep

    Oh God, I think I’ll have to see this again on an IMAX. I saw it on the regular screen the first time.

    And if you are gonna be joker for halloween, you better practice the line “Good Evening, Ladies and Gen-t-le-men… For tonight’s entertainment…” 🙂

    Like many posthumous Heath fans, I didnt like his “acting” in hitherto movies too.. but watched Brokeback Mountain with a bunch of friends… and despite almost emptying my gut, I thought he fared better in it than his other movies.

    But Joker was completely awesomely fantastic!


  4. says: bApHoMEt

    Spot on review Rads!

    So now do you understand why I told you I was depressed for weeks when Mr.Ledger died? (rhetorical)

    If you havent seen Brokeback Mountain, rent a DVD immediately. Its amazing how he loses himself into his role in that film too. And pay attention to how he speaks in the film.

  5. says: Priya

    Wow! Did you take down notes at the theater 😀 ‘This is what happens when in unstoppable force meets a immovable object’
    The movie was awesome Rads, and I desperately need to watch it again. I think I missed a few subplots and the dialogs (huh! not dialogues ) are simply superb.

  6. says: rads

    Priya: haha, let’s just say I was glued to the screen 😀 ‘Yeah, watch it and try IMAX this time. Some action scenes are just very well done.

    Baph: Wow, thanks! I was all set to defend my post thinking you’d get all offended!
    Totally understand @depressed. I was upset after watching the movie too. Will do.

    Zep: I thought I’d walk in with a wine glass in my hand and do that line, considering a shotgun wouldn’t look appropriate considering the circumstances 😀

  7. Rads, for a person who claims to be an average filmgoer, you sure write kick ass reviews! 🙂

    Frankly, I do think it had it’s flaws but as a fanboy, I simply choose to ignore them.
    😛 Oh and best comic book film ever!

  8. says: Giridhar

    A movie review in rads..mmhm.. after a long time i guess..

    the first 5 min…i missed it due to super slow driving by my friend… will go watch it again this weekend…

  9. says: rads

    naren: Goody!

    Giridhar: haha, true, haven’t been watching any good enough to review recently.
    ooo.. the 1st scene’s nice, though I doubt it has much relevance onto the rest of the movie. My 2 cents.

    Prestid: LOL, thank you 🙂
    O absolutely, I could see yours and Baph’s completely star-struck 😛

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