I’ve never reached a theater an hour before the show is supposed to begin. I had bought my tickets online, but the line to retrieve those tickets extended up to the parking lot. I also greatly annoyed those beyond me when it was my turn to get my ticket – fifteen of my friends stuffed their online ticket confirmation receipts in my hand. But see, I didn’t give a hoot – I was going to see Batman!
I’ve never seen a movie which has ever had to bear the burden of so much hype (the trailer was so kick-ass). To overcome the unbelievable expectations of the audience had to be impossible, right? Seriously man, what a movie!
The Joker is introduced in an awesomely masterminded bank robbery and Heath Ledger plays the villain in a way Jack Nicholson never did. The Heath Ledger Joker is a maniacal villain who does what he does because he relishes destruction, enjoys slowing down the agony. He taunts a police officer in the movie, saying that he knew his friends best because he saw what they really were, when he slowly used his knife to take away their lives.
Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Harvey Dent/Two Face were very good in their portrayals as well, but seriously, this is Ledger's movie. The scene with Batman pounding the hell out of the Joker and the Joker responding with his crazy laughter is one of my favourites. He just keeps laughing and taunting Batman ("What are you going to threathen me with?"). He derives insane pleasure from getting under the skin of a man he dearly wants to unmask.
The special effects and stunts in this movie take a backseat amidst the performances of Ledger, Bale, Eckhart and Oldman (as Inspector Gordon). How often do you see the CGI merge seamlessly with the narrative? The effects don’t take precedence over what the actors are trying to convey, and yet build up the riveting tension that Ledger and Bale love to play off.
There is a truck that does a somersault, and Batman bursts out of the Batmobile in a motorbike – this is very much an action movie. Yet, there is much more. There is a marvelously constructed story that has as one of its main underlying themes what Harvey Dent says in the beginning of the movie – “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”.
My Verdict: 9.5/10