Saturday, July 19, 2008
Performance of a Life
"The Dark Knight" was brilliant. I'm expecting to see it in ye olde IMax at some point soon with the cronies which I'm very much looking forward to. Now, to get right to it. I don't want to take away from Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Arron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, or even Anthony Michael Hall, but Heath Ledger as The Joker was fucking brilliant. I never knew I could have chills run down my spine as I laughed. Ledger so perfectly was madness. Was a deformation of humanity. Was uncompromising evil. I do not mean to be disrespectful to Ledger or his family, but him playing this character so completely must have contributed to his death. When I see The Joker on screen it scared me to think that I could no longer see Ledger in the eyes. He had become The Joker. Michael Meyers is well known for really getting into character, and he is fine (mostly), but Austin Powers wasn't insane. Ledger was getting into a character of unflinching evil. He spent almost a year getting into and playing a mad man. I wondered to myself if such a performance would make Ledger an amazing actor? Or was him becoming this character simply a sign of a weak sense of self? What if someone with a weak sense of self found this persona. One of confidence. One of genius, more importantly misunderstood genius. Could Ledger have developed a case of Stockholm's Syndrome, where a captive begins to sympathize with their captor. Could this character have taken Ledger hostage, then Ledger began to empathize with his points of view? Either way, "The Dark Knight" is an astounding cinematic achievement. One that I can't wait to see again soon.
P.S. Continuing the good fight, there was a "Watchmen" trailer at the beginning of the movie which I promptly closed my eyes and plugged my ears during. Go me.