Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Joker: The unstoppable force

Saluting the best performance of the yesteryear.

Disclaimer- If you are a fan, I ain’t exactly aiming this piece of flattery on Nolans’ brainchild on you. It is for the nitpicking, pseudo-intellectuals who believe to grab attention by cramming against THE Joker- Jokers.

Bruce Wayne: Criminals aren’t complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he’s after.
Alfred Pennyworth
: With respect, sir, perhaps this is a man that YOU don’t fully understand.

Villains are bad guys. For the most part, they are boring idiots. Killing, raping, robbing and cheating. Is there anything else they do? Then came this guy. What he did was not any of this kind, actually. He kills yeah, but not cause of women, wine or wealth. He never even is interested in raping. Robbing, well he burns it. Hence it doesn’t count. Cheating- He is a joker. It is ofcourse a part of him, but that doesn’t essentially make him a villain. Atleast, accept that he is not stereo-typical.

The biggest strength of the movie is the characterisation,next comes the screen-writing. Actors did a commendable job as well, still to mould the 2D figures on comics into real people in a city is a challenge, really. It is very subtle. At the outset, we just could perceive the players- Batman, Mayor, Mayor’s girl, Commissioner and the Joker simply straight from the series or the prequels. Certainly, I had read so many reviews, forum topics, blogs and opinions; re-watched the film before writing this. They remarkably crafted in such a way that they aren’t ordinary. They won’t do things that normal people would do in normal situations. Refer-
1. You cry for help when the dynamite is set upon you and not ask to help an another victim who is far away, like how Eckhart or Gyllenhall do.
2. You imprison and won’t help a vigilante when you are a cop, as Gary Oldman does.
3. You don’t buy a Luxury hotel for a couple of girls who mess up the fountain, as Bale does.
4. Definitely, you won’t laugh when you are feet away from death if thrown from a multi-storey building, you know who did it.
THE freak himself says that they both (Batman and himself) would make choices that the others wouldn’t. That is one-side of approaching the movie, in its sense. Exploring the movie through its characters makes it more intimate and takes its deal of details we could notice. Closely examining in this perspective, we realise that even the butler and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) behave in a similar fashion. Observe a butler asking a super-hero to “Endure!” and Fox resigning his job, just after a promotion. After all, I would be a crook if I don’t mention the penultimate scene. Didn’t you expect the thugs to press the button or even the civilians for that matter? Nolan, you were robbed at the Golden Globes Sir. I wish you could make it up in the Oscars.

Coming back to our prologue, the Batman is supposed to be the central character of the movie. But it turns out to be that he is reduced of his role in the sequel. It appears that the Joker is the real central character but to me both of them were given equal weightage. The screenplay, as I already mentioned is top notch. It starts off just holding you in terror, till the last moment. It all happens in the eye of yours and the clutches of the clown- Masterpiece of a crime/ dark movie (Note: NOT the superhero genre). The awe and mystery of the movie is in the Joker anyway. The hospital scene, where he sympathizes with two-face is the real crux of the movie. Accompanied by awesome music, his own co-written dialogues in the scene is the ‘matter’ of the whole film. But, for one lie he makes- He says that he doesn’t scheme and the others do, but after all the joker has to. It is astonishing to note that he is the best schemer of the lot. Note:
1. “I want my phone call!” - This is the simplest of the examples of the Joker phenomenon. He had planted the bomb in the phone knowing that he would somehow be arrested that night.
2. “They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper!” - In some scenes the crowd brands the Batman a criminal too. Probably, Batman acknowledges this at the end.
3. It is amazing to carve several layers of a plot inside the same scene as in:
*The pencil trick: He anticipates an attack. Did you think it had no purpose? TA-DA!
*“He’ll find him and make him squeal! I know the squealers when I see them.” - The Dark Knight did it. The man with ‘no name’ knew it.
*“Ah-ta-ta-ta! Let’s not *blow* this out of proportion” - He knows that the goons would try to shoot him. The criminal with a class is prepared for that also.
4. “We really should stop fighting, we’ll miss the fireworks!” - It is a pity if you think he misjudged it. In fact, the sociopath had a remote to blow it off on his own. He is a genius: by that I mean Nolan brothers are, as well.
There are a lot more to see and appreciate, just in this aspect itself in the film. This phenomena starts showing from the opening sequences of the film only: “I kill the bus driver” and goes on till “You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun.” The Joker is the face of all the terror that wreaks and havocs our daily life. So, is with everyone. As a guy who is socially opressed we try to revolt- in Batman’s cape. Not just that, Harvey Dent is the symbol of the helpless politician juxtaposed with his second role- two-face where he becomes the revenge-seeker. I don’t have to repeat it with Gordon’s case again. In a nutshell, I would say that the Joker knew how it all was gonna end. I mean, the agent of chaos uproots a plan and turns it upon the schemer itself. And, he knows what response that chaotic situation would receive. So, he makes another plan to topple the plan of that someone else who would save the chaos. I believe he has alternatives when this turning plans on itself fails. This chain takes us to the finale. Hereby, he just is not a dog chasing cars. And for sure knows what he has to do when he catches one. As you would know, “It is all part of a plan!” In the name of this post, I sincerely and proudly pay homage to the mighty THESPIAN we had in our times. Hail Heath Ledger. R.I.P.

P.S 1: Please do appreciate and mention Nolan ‘brothers’ wherever. It sometimes hurts.

P.S 2: This actually is a recycled article, which was posted earlier in my personal blog.