Ledger's Joker Chills, Thrills and Entralls

2 min read · Posted on: Jul 20, 2008 · Print this page

Joker in The Dark Knight

Unfortunately, there is no way to escape the tremendous hype surrounding the latest Batman film ‘The Dark Knight’. It spoils a viewer’s experience by raising the expectations to an unrealistic level. Unbelievably, just after I saw the film yesterday, I realized that even the hype couldn’t prepare me for such a fantastic experience. Christopher Nolan’s creation not only appeals to the average film goer but also to the critics establishing a new benchmark against which comic book films will be judged against. In fact, the term ‘comic book movie’ will no longer be understood as a euphemism for ‘bunch of crap appealing to the comic book fans’ anymore.

This multi-climatic, multi-layered, and multi-thematic film is an excellent cinematisation of an epic struggle between good and evil. Through excellent dialogues and almost heart stopping action sequences, the story unfolds rapidly and constantly keeps you guessing. While most action films try hard to come up with one clever climatic arc, Nolan’s Joker gives the audience a maddening parade of climatic moments one after another.

Joker - Best Villain Ever

The biggest highlight of ‘Dark Knight’ is undoubtedly the character of Joker. Though many phsychotic characters have appeared in Hollywood, Heath Ledger’s Joker is path-breaking in many ways:

  • He is an absolute. There is a no background story. He himself gives multiple interpretation of his disfigurement. No attempt is made to humanise or even demystify the character.
  • His disfigurement makes him a freak, which he further relishes and emphasizes with make-up. His unkempt and battered appearance is hardly scary, but add the body language and intonations of a psychopath and the result is disturbingly real.
  • He is arguably not an evil character simply because he has no moral compass. He master-minds situations which involve dire outcomes yet leaves the details to chance. He, in his own words, is Chaos. He proves that sanity or civility is based on the illusion of order that humans have created. The absence of order brings out the latent insanity in everyone. It is in this chaos that Joker thrives.

As Joker aptly tells Batman in a memorable scene - What would I do without you? You complete me.

Arun Ravindran profile pic

Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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