D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
The Dark Knight, 2008.
Directed by Christopher Nolan.
Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Morgan Freeman.
The Dark Knight is the second installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and sees the Caped Crusader taking on The Joker (Heath Ledger) for the first time. Batman (Bale) is a dark and flawed character in Nolan’s imagining, struggling with simple emotions as well as criminals at large, with the film more rooted in reality than its predecessors.
When The Joker arrives in town hell bent on causing chaos he upsets the criminal underworld, the police and Batman. His unflinching evil towards anyone and his simple love of destruction is so much more interesting than any character we have previously seen fighting Batman. Batman himself is struggling with jealousy as his love interest Rachel (Gyllenhaal) becomes acquainted with Gotham’s recently elected District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart). Dent has set his sights on cleaning up the mean streets of Gotham and that gives him something in common with Batman, along with a common enemy in The Joker.
The Dark Knight is a beautifully crafted story unlike any other comic brought to the big screen. The levels of story and the depth to each character is befitting of any film and Nolan’s world has been so well crafted that it is easily identifiable as the comic book Gotham, but also resonates as a city in which any of us may have lived.
The Dark Knight is a film you must see before you die because Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker is truly phenomenal. The character is so underplayed and deadpan at times that he feels truly evil to the bone. The Joker was Ledger’s last complete role before his untimely passing and quite rightly earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The film is worth watching for his performance alone.