I felt crushed to see Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) aka Batman walk away from the scene into the dark alleys after Batman had saved Police commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) from being killed by the two-faced Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart)..

He walked away from recognition as a hero to become the wanted villain.

“He’s the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now … and so we’ll hunt him … because he can take it … because he’s not a hero … he’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector … a Dark Knight,” says Gordon,to his son, who just moments before was in the hands of Dent, the new and bold District Attorney of Gotham city.

Harvey was planning to torture Gordon by killing his son, because Harvey suspected the latter, including several others he had “terminated’, was involved in the murder of his girlfriend, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyallenhaal).

But Batman, being Batman – “I am whatever Gotham needs me to be” – decided to take the blame for Harvey’s murders so that the two-face can be remembered as a hero. Why?

He understood that the people needed to believe that the brave and courageous still existed in a world rampant with corruption and lies.

“This city just showed you that it’s full of people ready to believe in good,” said Batman to the Joker, while swinging from the edge of a high rise building, ready to dive, when the Joker (the late and wonderful Heath Ledger), releases the rope.

He was referring to two ferries nearby – one carrying civillians, and the other, convicts – who decided not to kill each other despite the fact that the Joker had threatened to kill them at midnight, if they did not press the trigger to bomb each other first.

So, Bruce Wayne understood, as any hero would, that the manhunt for Batman the villain was the one thing that could unite the people, thus give them hope, to survive in a world, which was fast losing hope.

How many of us could do that, walk away from glory and name, in this world where fame and glam are everything?

Dent, though being a tough DA (we may dream forever to have a DA like this), succumbed to the pressure of staying honest to his profession when Rachel, the love of his life was blown to bits in a bomb blast set up by the Joker – the agent of chaos.

True to his words – “Either you die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” -Dent lived long enough to see himself become the villain.

But I felt crushed, again, when Rachel, also Wayne’s old time friend and love interest, gave him up and chose Dent, because he was a vigilante.

“You know that day you once told me about, when Gotham would no longer need Batman? It’s coming,” he says to Rachel, an upcoming assistant DA, at a party he threw in honor of Harvey, the new kid on the block, to say “I believe in Harvey Dent”.

Yes, she waited too long. If my boyfriend were Batman, I supposed I want him to continue his work. You cannot take Batman out of Bruce Wayne, or vice versa.

Truly, I had an emotional experience watching this movie.

The call for justice in an indecent time resonates well with what’s happening in our country. But is truth enough to save human kind?

“Sometimes, the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded,” says Batman to Gordon.

So, when the going gets tough, some people become corrupt; become two faced, in times like this – a time when truth is suspended, so that betrayals become evident. It has to surface so that betrayers can be dispensed with. Or else, how do we move on?

How many of us would hold to our own principles, to our own truths when faced with grave danger, not only to ourselves, but our loved ones? Many of us, I believe, would relent, until we have made a commitment to be fearless and heartless. And even then, when the lives of our loved ones are at stake, what do we do?

I once asked my mom what would she do if I were arrested for my political writings, she said she would not visit me in jail. She added that if they asked her, she would say she does not know me. She said I always knew what I was doing, and if I landed in jail, that I would know what to do.

I was amazed at her answer. To me, it meant that she was beyond fear. Who could threaten her? And I do not have to relent, because I have no one to be fearful for. But would I relent for fear of myself?

Strangely, the other character which enthralled me in the movie was the Joker. He was evil, yes, but he spoke eternal truths about how human beings behaved in the real world, how often their true colors surfaced when pushed to the corner, when offered bribes, position or power, that is too enticing to resist.

His observation about the police force was spot on.

Joker said to a policeman while trying to seduce him to lose his temper, so that he can overpower the man, and get himself out of the lock-up:

“Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all of the … little … emotions. You see, in their … last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way … I knew your friends better than you ever did. [pause] Would you like to know which of them were cowards?

In the same lock-up, he tells Batman, who tried to wringed the truth from him about the whereabouts of Rachel and Harvey (the Joker had strapped both of them to bombs and oil drums, at difference locations), with little success at first:

“When the chips are down, these, uh … civilized people, they’ll eat each other,” he offered, referring to the police. Can we argue with him, if we look at our present circumstances?

Do the police and criminals have a pack to perpetuate each other’s existence, in order to survive?

Joker had the answer, but he says this to Batman, who he considers an ‘unstoppable force”, and he himself, an “immovable object”.

“You won’t kill me because of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because … you’re just too much fun! I think you and I are destined to do this forever”.

23 responses »

  1. KNB says:

    I love every bit of this movie, Susan. It can easily be the best movie of the century. Damn, it leads the Top 250 Chart on IMDB now.

    The Dark Knight has it all. Chris Nolan does not opt for usual stunt-peppered Hollywood superhero flick; yet he blends this masterpiece with rich mixture of heroism philosophy, heartwrenching emotions, and memorable lines.

    And seriously, how many times you laughed with considerable eerieness and goosebumps everytime the late Heath Ledger appeared on the screen.

    Why so serious?

    Ulasan Filem – The Dark Knight (2008)

    The Dark Knight: 5 Dialog Kegemaran

  2. Harrison says:

    Must be a great movie that i missed. Heard that the opening 1 week was a box-office breaker of all time surpassing “Titanic”? I am an avid movie lover. I still feel the best movie I had watch this year is “Kungfu Panda”. Have you watch “The Bank Job?””, it’s great.

    Will certainly go watch the Darknight and Mummy 3 soon. Anyway Batman’s a hero from DC comic. I am more a fan of “The Avengers”. I like the mighty Thor. YOu know about that Susan? Hehe.

    Malaysia really needs a hero like Batman long ago.

  3. Edi神 says:

    The concept is perfect, almost similar to Msia situation.

    We need SOMEONE to believe in, HE might not be perfect but he is our only hope for CHANGE!

  4. taliban bodoh says:

    this was written by that hypocrate moron mahaguru pondan about the bar council forum and he calls for the govt to detain all those involved under the isa, moron said,
    “Do Malaysian Muslims go around poking their nose into the Non Muslim Malaysians religious affairs?
    We don’t!
    We have lived in relative peace and harmony with our Non Muslims fellow citizens all these while.”
    WELL. WELL mr katak di bawah tempurung,
    where were you when moorthy’s corpse was snatched from his family.
    where were you when Indian, chinese, budhist & churches are demolished by little talibans.
    where were you when subhashini’s husband converted her chidren into islam when he wanted to divorce her, manipulating islam for his personal gain.
    this mahaguru pondan is the biggest moron lout and shite for brains i have ever come across, another example of our malaysian education system, a born looser looking for an identity.

    wasn’t this done by muslims under the guise of islam

  5. Saravanan says:

    I liked the acting of Joker, for a while I thought it was Jack Nicholson but it was actually Heath Ledger. He died a few day after the Premiere of Dark Night as he was unable to get off the character Joker from himself. As his brain was still ‘working’ whilst he was sleeping. He died due to taking too much sleeping pill.

    He deserves an post-humanous Oscar on my point of view.

  6. Towering Malay says:

    Ah why worry. That mahaguru is soon finished lah. Look at his forehead can see marks on account of banging the floor too much with his forehead. These are the first sign that so and so is in for a very bad time. Mamaks have been asking for it a long time now.

  7. Towering Malay says:

    Malaysian Batman:

    Why did Samy Velu withdraw RM 14.40million from his Bank Of Commerce (now CIMB Bank ) Current Account on 04/04/1992 and how did he manage to cover up overdrawn by deposit over RM15.00 million within 15days time .

    http://www.mpkapar.com/manikavasagam/posts/why-samy-withdraw-rm1440million/

  8. Beggar Batman says:

    ‘Immovable’, ‘unstoppable’ , ‘impossible’, ‘reducable’, ‘not reducable’ and all this terms should be used for the right things in life.

    Do you realize there are more beggars on the streets,’basket’- peddlars( selling home-baked cakes,pens,tissues and other edible items) at restaurants,streets,markets,bus stations,cinemas etc. more and more now

    The question is can you ‘move’ these beggars from their places. They also seem ‘immovable’.Week after week we see them fixed there.It seems like nobody can ‘move’ them too. It shows, where can these beggars go?
    They can’t find a job out there. They are not qualified. What else do they know? They have no other skills besides begging.

    We can’t blame them. Some of them appear to me like retired professionals,some young,many are young and school going-children and women. A very pitiful site. How many of them are we going to help?
    There are more and more on the streets by the day. They look ‘unstoppable’.

    As I said, we can’t blame them, because,do you know that:

    Mee Hoon was sold at 0.99sen last month and this month it has jumped to Rm1.79sen.
    Cream crackers was sold at Rm3.79 and now to Rm4.09 this month(originally Rm2.99)
    Lux soap(3 bars) last month Rm.2.59 to rm 2.99.
    Boh Tea from Rm2.09 to Rm 2.29 this month.
    Condensed Milk from Rm2.19 to Rm2.29.
    Soap Bar(Fab) from Rm 0.79 to Rm 0.99

    Can Batman do anything about these? Can he stop this price increase? Can he ‘move’ the beggars from their places with something more profitable to do?

    Lets use these terms on practical things. If batman can’t do anything about these things, then he cannot do anything. Ask ‘Batman’ or ‘Joker’ to give up and run.

  9. goldenscreen says:

    The Dark Knight was one of the best movies of the year but it is not even remotely close to being the best movie ever. No Country for Old Men would be a good bet for that title.

    After watching The Dark Knight, I found myself not only attracted to but really believing in the Joker. He dispenses with the bullshit of human civilization and is an agent of chaos. The universe is chaotic not orderly so it stands to reason that chaos is eternal but order is only a temporary illusion. Whenever any order becomes too corrupt and dirty it takes a good bout of chaos to create a new order (hopefully better than the last one). That was also one of the goals of The League of Shadows from Batman Begins. The purging fire of chaos to restore order, just like a forest fire that is vital for the regeneration of the forest. True order ie natural order not man-made order requires chaos jut like the forest needs a fire. What appears to us as chaos is actually part of the natural order or pattern of things, incomprehensible by human minds.

    Another important theme of the current Batman films is escalation. And the most dangerous issue that is tearing at the heart and soul of Malaysia is not UMNO’s corruption, UMNO’s bullying ways, Anwar’s sodomy or even Najib’s Altantuya..it is the creeping tide of Islamic extremism that threatens the very meaning of being a Malaysian. And March 3rd 2008 didn’t change that fact a single bit at all.

    Escalation, chaos, order….

  10. I did like this movie. I don’t think it was the greatest movie ever, or anywhere near that designation. I look forward to the next installment and possibly a return to something a tad more sensible. I shouldn’t have to completely throw reality out the window when I watch a Batman movie. Suspend reality? Yes! But totally throw it out the window? That’s too much.

  11. maRCus says:

    Hi Susan, i came from Mental Jog’s. Very interesting and entertainng blog la yours. And its highly addictive too! Ill be back for more😀

  12. One obvious problem with this scenario, in my opinion, is that Batman has been Gotham’s “hero” for so many years that the people would be MORE harmed by the thought of Batman turning to the “dark side” than they would if they knew what happened to Harvey Dent.

  13. squarebrackets says:

    I saw this movie and agree with pretty much everything you’ve said.

    I also liked the way the Joker described that the world was full of ‘schemers’
    in the hospital scene with Harvey Dent. And how he didn’t have a plan, but just
    created chaos.

    One question though, why would you be arrested for your writings?

  14. susanloone says:

    Squarebrackets,
    In Malaysia, bloggers may either get sued or arrested for their political writings. Its pretty much up to the whims and fancies of the authorities.

    Welcome to malaysia.

  15. jeremy says:

    A Malaysian batman, now that would be something. There might already be a few locked away.

  16. squarebrackets says:

    Really? Wow, I honestly didn’t know that
    [which I know is arrogance on my part,
    and I’m working on that].

    How long could you get arrested for? And how is it
    possible to try and keep people from writing about
    things that affect their daily lifes, the things that
    affect us everyday are what give people fuel for
    writing.

  17. sloone says:

    Well, depending on the charge, but we could be arrested up to 2 years for making seditious comments against the police or government officials. Or, if detained under the Internal Security Act, it could be detention without trial, for an indefinite period. How’s that?
    😦

  18. squarebrackets says:

    The world seems to be filled with
    thing that never crossed my mind
    as actually being able to happen

  19. squarebrackets says:

    *things

  20. souse says:

    It appears that Rais is quick to find an excuse to make use of the Sedition Act as a way of silencing bloggers in general.

    In any case, Rais’s view certainly doesn’t sit comfortably with the one publicly expressed by his fellow Cabinet member, Information Minister Shabery Cheek, recently as shown below:

    http://mustafakanuar.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/foreign-ministers-mental-blog/

  21. Menyalak-er says:

    Dear souse, the left hand is competing with the right hand to wash the nether regions mah, especially the central piece of the anatomy that has been luridly exposed to the world, by the ‘brainy earwigs’ that lives in floor of Batman’s cave.
    Nah, Susan, none of nemeses of Batman will qualify as a starring role in our Dino de Bumno Arsebuster Megamovie being played right before our eyes in real time.
    Our hero Batman, is not necessarily a knight and may turn out to dark… but yeah, he’s our only hope. Very convolated plot this…
    Any good cartoon flicks recently?

  22. Scott Thong says:

    How many of us could do that, walk away from glory and name, in this world where fame and glam are everything?

    According to this writer, Bush can – he made himself the most hated man in the world as the reward for his taking the fight to the terrorists, thus distracting their bombing attentions to Iraq instead of Bali or the London Underground.

    Batman = Bush?

  23. waswas says:

    great movie!

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