To say that The Dark Knight was merely one of eagerly awaited movies of the year would be a great understatement. With a promotional campaign that could rival Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, The Dark Knight had fans, critics and trade pundits convinced that it would be a super hit that would smash box-office records to smithereens even before it was released. I for one though have always been of the opinion that with great hype comes great expectations…expectations which are often not met leading to great flops. This time around however, I must utter one the riskiest statements a reviewer can make…’Believe the hype!’
On face value, a guy in a bat-suit fighting an evil clown may not exactly be anyone’s idea of an ‘edge of your seat’ thriller, but thanks to a cracker of a script penned by the Nolan brothers that grabs the viewer by the jugular from the opening scene itself, The Dark Knight is certain to go down as one of, if not the best superhero movie ever made. Director Christopher Nolan has easily surpassed the likes of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and all the three Spider-Man installments with this one. In a genre dominated by tales of spandex-clad heroes battling larger than life villains, The Dark Knight is a dark, disturbing masterpiece.
Unlike his counterparts, Batman (Christian Bale) is the least bit heroic. In fact he is shockingly human and acutely aware of the fact that he is ‘not the hero the city deserves’. Bale therefore shows great restraint in his performance and not once goes over the top in his portrayal of both The Batman and the debauch multi-millionaire Bruce Wayne. So who then steals the show if not hero himself?, you may wonder. The answer to that is the villain!
Believe me when I say this, the late Heath Ledger is spine-chillingly brilliant in his portrayal of psychopathic, stone-cold murderer, The Joker. Ledger reportedly lived in isolation for a month researching and getting into character to the point where it started to take a toll on his sleep. The result; Ledger is so damned convincing as The Joker that one wonders whether he acted or lived his character in the movie. If that statement is beyond you, I suggest you go watch his performance and then see for yourself whether you have any words for it. I certainly don’t!
But let’s not forget a little somebody called Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). On any other given day in any other superhero flick, Eckhart would steal the show with his portrayal of Two-Face, but thanks to Heath Ledger’s superlative effort, his performance appears above-average at best in comparison. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman too reprise their roles with grace thereby making it clear that not a single character compromises on the quality of acting in this movie.
The Dark Knight is much more than a super-hero movie. It’s a cold, dark, disturbing, thought-provoking crime thriller, the likes of which are a few and far between. The pacing of the movie is such that even the 150 minute length flies by before you know it. Be it the CGIs, or the near-perfect comic book adaptations or the subtly-scary background score or the dialogues, The Dark Knight is a winner on all counts. What else can I say then besides that this is one of the best movies (of any kind) of the year? Do yourself a favour and watch this one… and if you’ve got a spare ticket send it my way!
Rating: 4½ out of 5 .
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!