Movie Review: Batman — The Dark Knight

My husband and I went to the midnight showing of this movie at our local movie theater. Waiting in line was lots of fun. There were some people in costume and in general there was light party atmosphere. I imagine until the winter holidays that this is the last movie coming out that is worth going to the midnight show.

First all let me say that this an excellent movie and probably the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. Now onto a little side road. In grad school one of my room mates was an acting major. She once told me that to be a good actor one must know him or herself very well in order to separate their own personality from the character they are playing. She told me if an actor is not mentally stable and secure to begin with they can get lost in the character and consequently lose their mind. When she said this to me, I thought she was full of crap and inflating the difficulty of acting. After seeing Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the “Joker” her words hit home. The Joker seemed very real. The Joker was extremely scary. Health Ledger didn’t seem to be enjoying himself in this role. I wonder was he able to keep his personality separate. We’ll never really know, but the tabloid rumors surrounding his death suggest that he wasn’t.

Now back to the movie. This sequel follows the “Batman Begins” movie that come out in 2005. Unlike previous Gotham Cities, this Gotham actually has daytime, which made it seem more real than in any other of the previous Batman movies. It was very contemporary and the characters inhabiting this world seemed very real and not the usual hyperbole associated with comic book based and super hero movies. I loved how the soon-to-be Commissioner Gordon was underwhelming. I also liked how subtly Harvey Dent became the villain “Two-Face.” “The Joker,” though, was on a whole other level. He’s a terrorist without principle or ideology. He messes with the minds of the characters in the movie. He messes with the audience’s mind. There were at least 5 separate times where the audience gasped out a collective “Damn!” at some of the Joker’s action. I was deeply disturbed by this character, there were times I thought I was going to freak out if the movie didn’t cut to a different scene, and I had nightmares when I went to sleep after seeing the movie.  I will not be able to see this movie again.  I had to remind myself during the movie that this isn’t real and at the same time I worried that this could become real if some nut decided to copycat the character.

This is a very adult movie and I think the PG-13 rating is misleading. My advise is not take children under 15 or 16 and I do not recommend this in general for people who are easily scared or have really soft hearts.

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