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Review: THE DARK KNIGHT
Author: Alexandre Winck
Saturday, July 26, 2008

THE DARK KNIGHT - A Warner Bros. release, presented in association with Legendary Pictures, of a Syncopy production. Produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan. Executive producers, Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy, Thomas Tull. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Screenplay, Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan; story, Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, based upon characters appearing in comicbooks published by DC Comics, "Batman" created by Bob Kane.

Bruce Wayne/Batman - Christian Bale
The Joker - Heath Ledger
Harvey Dent - Aaron Eckhart
Alfred Pennyworth - Michael Caine
Rachel Dawes - Maggie Gyllenhaal
Jim Gordon - Gary Oldman
Lucius Fox - Morgan Freeman

THE DARK KNIGHT wasn’t the best Batman movie I have seen. Or the best superhero movie I have seen. It wasn´t the Best movie I have seen this year. All those definitions seem tôo small, tôo modest.

It was one of the most intense cinematic experiences of my life.

This was the big budget Summer blockbuster that I thought I´d never see. If I were a Time Warner stockholder or any of the movie´s tie-ins, I´d think these people went nuts spending huge money on this, and yet I’d admire the hell out of them, and I´d be the craziest spender of them all. Couldn´t believe That something done on this greedy machine that has turned most of these movies into mostly cotton candy cinema could be this uncompromising, this disturbing, this thought-provoking, this brutal…and this brilliant.

From the moment the movie starts ’til it ends, two and a half hours later, I´m on the edge of my seat, barely taking a breath, and by its end I was a pile of sweat, and stunned. I could really not tell what was going to happen next. This was a methodically written and conceived plot, and yet I couldn´t see it coming, who was going to die, what was the next move going to be, what decisions the characters would take. If the Joker was this “agent of chaos,” our heroes were constantly at odds with their own plans, their decisions, their morals. Yes, Joker cuts through this movie like a shark, always challenging everyone around him, shaking them to their core, putting their values into question. And at every corner they were forced into situations and measures that compromised their beliefs.

I know it´s inevitable to mention Heath Ledger´s untimely and tragic death, but I Will keep it to a minimum. He wanted us to appreciate his performance for what it was. He wanted us to forget about him, and think of The Joker. And He completely disappears into this demon of the id, this Mephistopheles Who seems completely out of control, whether is his voice, his body language and his stream of thought, and yet is constantly two steps ahead.

And so do all actors disappear into his roles. Christian Bale, more than ever, is the honorable but still dark and morally dubious hero Batman, as Oldman is the every man struggling to deal with forces beyond all normalcy, as is Maggie Gyllenhall as Rachel, Who seems the most comfortable person and yet pays a huge price. Special mention is Aaron Echkart as Harvey Dent, Who lives the most intense and tragic arc of the movie, and the one Who takes the highest fall from the most noble place He started.

But make no mistake, this is a Batman movie. This is about Bruce Wayne hoping for the day that he won´t have to face the chaos and impossible choices anymore -- and in the end, he makes the most impossible of them all.

This is not a superhero movie.

This is not a comic book movie.

This is a graphic novel movie.

Alexandre Winck is a BOF contributor.
Send feedback to Alexandre at ALWINCK@HOTMAIL.COM.

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