If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Yesterday I re-watched The Dark Knight in order to prepare myself for The Dark Knight Rises. Upon re-watching the 2008 film, I found myself in awe once again just as I was back in 2008. But, I'm a little older and experienced about the art of film and film-making, so therefore it should have been a little less amazing than I thought it was before.I think it's safe to say that the film is just as amazing as it was and then some.
People have "badmouthed" the film before for its lead actor and the length of the film or that it was just pure hype that let the film down and it was nothing but a mediocre film that tried too hard. These are all untrue, very very untrue and unfair. When I watched the film again I paid attention to every single aspect from the characters to the cinematography. Christian Bale as Batman and Bruce Wayne is perfect. Bruce Wayne is a tortured man emotionally and is only brought out by the nuanced performance of Bale. Whilst Batman is a creature that should be feared and damn it, if those shots of Batman just about to drop on Scarecrow's van isn't frightening then...well, I don't know what is.
Now the clip above is a great segue into the next aspect of the World's Greatest Detective and that, my friends, is his voice. That growl like a beast has been parodied more times than often and I'm sure you have imitated the voice whether mockingly or lovingly. Upon listening to the voice of Bale's Batman, it isn't as ridiculous as people make it out to be. It actually fits well in to the context of the film and makes sense; you wouldn't want Bruce Wayne and Batman to sound alike otherwise it will raise suspicion. The voice itself doesn't sound ridiculous but actually quite animalistic and terrifying. Imagine being caught off guard by that voice and Batman himself, you wouldn't laugh because it isn't as "caricaturish" as you thought. Watching the film on blu-ray really brings out that deep boom in the dark knight's voice which aids to the films grounded yet chaotic feel. Batman truly is a symbol that has one face and one face only therefore Batman can never develop and that is the price that Bruce has to pay by unleashing this (lovable) monster onto the criminals of Gotham City. Though that may be the case, a man is still under there and he is hurting.
Now here's a clip showcasing that Batman is a human under all that armour and it also shows Bale's nuanced performance as both Bruce and Bats. The key is what Harvey says and what Bruce replies back with but Harvey ignores what Bruce says.
This scene also shows that ultimately The Dark Knight is a crime drama. There's no fancy shmancy CGI or big boss battle, the only battle here is the battle of ideals which echoes the post-9/11 world we live in. The two-faced leaders we have who, for example, explicitly give reasons for going to war for idealistic reasons but turns out it's to give out what is fair. You attacked us and we'll attack you back. A beautifully constructed scene and a tragic one.
The length of the film for me was never a problem because there were constantly things happening from the first 6minutes of the film introducing the Joker to the revelatory interrogation scene. Revelatory because the Joker was right, he and Batman are all the same to the rest world and he would be cast out 'like a leper.'
These two scenes show the incredible performance of the late Heath Ledger and deserved the praise he received but I don't think enough praise was given.
Lastly, if you are going to see The Dark Knight Rises make sure you see it in true IMAX at least once, you will not regret it.
PS buy The Dark Knight on blu-ray it looks phenomenal the IMAX scenes take up the whole of the TV screen and the picture is super crisp and beautiful.
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