“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just wanna watch the world burn...”
Having artfully explored the origins of the caped crusader in Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan puts Gotham City under a completely new perspective in The Dark Knight, the thrilling second instalment of his superb reinvention of the superhero franchise.
Gotham has returned to a state of fraudulence and criminality. Crime lurks at every corner. People are terrified to go out at night. Citizens are relying on Batman to sort out their problems. However, crime continues through secret organizations. And a rising criminal mastermind is set to thrust Gotham into chaos. Soon the people of Gotham lose faith in their beloved hero.
Billionaire playboy by day and Gotham’s saviour by night; Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) is finding his double life burdensome. He considers ending his superhero days and attempts to find someone Gotham can look up to for encouragement and reassurance. Turning to Gotham’s new ‘white knight’, District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman, along with incorruptible ally Lt. Gordon (Gary Oldman), attempts to eradicate organized crime for good. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the star-studded cast as Rachel Dawes, showing a much softer side to her character than Katie Holmes.
Heath Ledger takes up the role of the Joker, the main antagonist in this film. In his role, he played a side of the Joker never seen before – a psychotic, ruthless, sadistic killer who does not care for money, but wants to establish fear and anarchy into Gotham. His performance is outstanding, unlike anything ever seen. A part of you almost wants him to defeat Batman and win the battle for Gotham, just to see how he makes it happen. The certainty that the hero of the film will win in the end is definitely missing in this film, which is what makes it even more engrossing. He is such a chaotic, volatile character that even Batman is never sure of what his next move will be.
In almost every way possible, the Joker has been created as an opposite to Batman. The caped crusader prefers to remain cloaked in dark greys and blacks, whereas the Joker has bright green hair, vivid face paint and a vibrant purple coat. In addition, Batman is a tall, strong, muscular character, while the Joker is comparatively short and lanky.
At the start of many scenes, Nolan uses an establishing extreme long shot to show us the location of the action in the scene. In the very first scene of the film, the establishing shot shows Gotham City as a large, prosperous place with tall, towering skyscrapers. Yet, as the film progresses, these establishing shots slowly start to show the true nature of Gotham - frightening, frenzied and foreboding.
Nolan uses many effective techniques to portray the atmosphere of certain scenes. In many of the action sequences, he cuts rapidly between shots, adding a...