Well they did it. It took several attempts but they have finally made a Batman film that fully incorporates the depth of the characters, the history of the comic books and the madness of Gotham City. The Dark Knight is truly a remarkable film, keeping its high octane thrills but lacing it with a well written script, a depth not often found in Hollywood and some excellent acting.
SPOILER ALERT – IF YOU HAVEN’T YET SEEN THE FILM, LOOK AWAY NOW.
I was nervous when I went to see the movie, concerned that the hype would set me up for a fall, but I was wrong. Jonathon and Christopher Nolan wrote the script and they obviously know and respect the character, from the true representation of the Joker’s madness to simple things like Batman’s white soulless eyes so often portrayed in the comic books. It is cool and clever and sets the Batman up as a true anti-hero, forever on the outskirts, wanted by both the criminal fraternity and the law.
Much praise has been heaped on Heath Ledger’s Joker and it is a magnificent performance, but one I don’t think would have been possible without the rest of the cast. His nervous ticks and constant wiggling tongue show a Joker sent mad by a society on which he returns to prey. And most important of all they don’t kill him off like some baddy of the week. Jack Nicholson did a great job of the Joker in the Tim Burton film but they made the mistake of killing him. You just can’t do that as the Batman and the deranged clown are the two sides of the same coin (an allusion to Two Face); the whole mythos runs off this duality and without one you cannot have the other.
Just finished Hard Boiled by Frank Miller. It’s good, predictable but good. To be honest the script is very short and you can easily read it in one sitting, what slows you down is the art work by Geof Darrow which is intricate and visually complex. It’s like a ‘Where’s Wally’ for adults, as he makes use of several full page drawings that have to be examined in minute detail. The images are arresting and perverse (he seems to enjoy drawing anatomically precise genitalia on both humans and androids).
I’ve been over to South Queensferry for the weekend which is a lovely little place on the outskirts of Edinburgh under the dominating presence of two bridges. The Forth Rail Bridge which is over a hundred years old and still functioning and the road bridge which is considerably younger and ready to be retired. I’m putting together some notes on the bridge which I hope will become a novella; I’ll put these up here when I’ve written them.
Also I would like to mention that the hard working Mr. Hunt has set up a new social networking sight at http://www.sfcrowsnest.com/hivemind/home.php . I notice several names from other sites so plan to spend some time nosing around it and taking some time to engage in considered and engaging debates.
Read this week:
Hard Boiled by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow