Disagree? But why, exactly, is Heath Ledger’s Joker so great? And stopping a problem like the Joker means you don't get to take off your utility belt for a while. There's a number of mentor figures from The Dark Knight, but none of them quite do the job of preparing Batman for his ordeals the way Joseph Campbell says they should. There’s a reason this film has endured in a sea of superhero movies, and it’s because it works brilliantly on a spectacle level, a character level, a story level, and most importantly, a thematic level. And he's bringing the pain to Gotham's bad guys! The only way out is through, and they're off on the road to adventure good and proper. The road of challenges is particularly daunting here.
He takes on the sins of his fallen comrade, and stops being Gotham's protector. He nabs the Joker, saves the hostages, and even makes his point about Gothamites being ready to believe in good when the ferries don't blow each other up. That's cause for celebration… or it would be if this were any other giant comic book blockbuster. Unfortunately, the road back may be even more dangerous than the ordeal itself, thanks to the Joker's nasty little trick with Two-Face. You need an ace in the hole, he giggles at the Caped Crusader while hanging upside down. Mine's Harvey. And while the clown may be getting fitted for a rubber room, Two-Face is still out there preparing to bring all of the former DA's good work crashing around them. When The Dark Knight comes to an end, he seems to. Like the rest of the road, it's an ugly win, but a win nonetheless. Better fire up that Bat Signal boys. Yeah, scholar Joseph Campbell noticed first—in 1949. Batman comes through 'cause he's Batman, of course. That's good enough for the moment, though it leaves an awfully big loose end that might come back to bite him. (It actually does in The Dark Knight Rises, and it's so nasty that it takes a whole additional movie for him to finally dig himself out of it. ) Victory, yes, but at what price? This was all part of Joker s masterfully executed plan. You can read the to get the more details explanation, but in short, the theory proposes that getting Batman out of Gotham City at the end of The Dark Knight was part of The Joker s plan, in addition to removing corruption from the Gotham City Police Department. In this case, the mentor is probably more of a partner, or in this case, partners. That sounds pretty calm and placid to us… the perfect place to throw a crazy clown into the equation. Said clown is already on the scene when we begin, but no one's too worried about him. It's a pretty bleak win for Batman, even if it appears to be sticking when the credits roll. The who, what, where, when, and why of all your favorite quotes. Go behind the scenes on all your favorite films. We speak tech 2017 Shmoop University. Though his reaction might indicate otherwise. This is a pretty wild theory, but at the same time, it s the kind of plan that is crazy enough for someone like The Joker to execute, were it not for his comic book history that paints him as a true, unhinged psychopath. Affiliate links used when available. Healing Gotham's soul is going to take a lot more than a good speech about the DA, Bruce. He's just a bank robber with a flair for the dramatic, and sooner or later, Batman will get him. We have an devoted to the hero's journey. )Applying the structure of the Hero's Journey is a little funky for this film, since The Dark Knight is the second film in a trilogy that essentially tells one big story. The guy who kills without reason and isn't any different than the criminals he puts away. It's not true, of course, but as Batman says, I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be, and by reshaping himself as the villain, by being reborn in the public's eye as a monster, he believes he can keep them safe from all the real monsters he's been fighting for the whole movie. But can he? Tell him what he's won, Johnny! The sword in this case, is Gotham's belief in a brighter tomorrow. They're the closest representatives we have in this spot. The Threshold comes fairly late in the game, with the various mobsters in jail at Harvey Dent's behest and the good guys just getting ready to relax. Watch the video below by (via ), and sound off with your thoughts in the comments section. The Joker is caught and Gotham's soul is left intact.
Batman loses his best friend in Rachel, sees Gotham's hope for Harvey Dent go up like a Roman candle, and watches the citizens of Gotham turn into panicking animals before the Joker's acts of terror. Ever notice that every blockbuster movie has the same fundamental pieces? The gangsters that Harvey prosecuted will stay in jail, Gotham City hasn't sacrificed its principles in order to buy perceived safety and Commissioner Gordon didn't accidentally kill anyone the way he might have if Batman hadn't brought his A-game. Dark knight joker essay. Before the Joker, Gotham was a mess. There's Batman! Luckily for us, Christopher Nolan is a pretty awesome filmmaker, and he can tell a complete Hero's Journey in The Dark Knight while still linking it to the bigger story told over all three movies. The Ordinary World is actually fairly extraordinary here. He has to be utilized correctly, as a utility in service of the story and character. That’s the question at the center of a new video essay that unpacks, from a script level, how this iteration of The Joker is the perfect antagonist for Christian Bale ’s Batman in The Dark Knight. Indeed, when Nolan first opted to tackle this iconic Batman villain for his follow-up to Batman Begins , many thought it was a fool’s errand. Jack Nicholson had already given the iconic Joker turn, so why embarrass yourself? He should have known better. We're working with those 12 stages, so take a look. (P. S. This one is going to get ugly…Like way too many heroes, Batman isn't especially interested in answering the call. At its heart, The Dark Knight is a 9/11 movie, and thus the anarchic and chaotic Joker was the perfect villain to serve the film’s thematic resonance. This video essay doesn’t delve too deep into the 9/11 parallels and instead discusses the specifics of the protagonist/antagonist relationship in cinema, and why this particular dynamic works so well in The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger ’s performance as The Joker in director Christopher Nolan ’s 2008 sequel The Dark Knight is one of the great performances of all time. It’s destined to lord over cinema history for decades to come, and indeed it has loomed large over the superhero genre in the recent boon of comic book movies. A hero, a journey, some conflicts to muck it all up, a reward, and the hero returning home and everybody applauding his or her swag? Besides the Joker himself, there's Sal Maroni and his cronies, along with the Scarecrow and Harvey's alter-ego Two-Face towards the end of the game. His allies are stalwart as always—led by Alfred and Lucius but counting Harvey and Rachel among their ranks for a time—but the challenges they face are pretty huge, and like all heroes, Batman eventually has to face his biggest challenges alone. The innermost cave—the battle for Gotham's soul as the Joker puts it—comes at almost the very end of the movie. That's before the Joker offers to kill Batman for the mob, and unleash chaos the likes of which Gotham has never seen. We could go with Alfred Pennyworth or Lucius Fox for the mentor, but Batman's known them for a long while and they don't have a whole lot new to teach him at this point. Jim Gordon has been working with Batman to stop the mob, and when Harvey Dent enters the picture, he feels like he has just the tools he needs to put Gotham right for good. So off Batman goes, one more time, ready to protect the victory he's just earn at any cost. And what a cost it is. He even has a theory on how the seemingly sarcastic applause that he gives Commissioner Gordon after being apprehended is genuine praise for being one of the few incorruptible people on the police force. One might think that his plan with the two boats in the third act goes against the idea of cleaning up Gotham City, since he wants citizens to kill each other, but the theory also nixes that by saying The Joker wanted to prove that Gotham s citizens would never truly turn on each other, even in the most dire circumstances. What makes this villain so memorable in The Dark Knight when plenty of other villainous turns by famous actors are so forgettable?
In order to erase all the evidence of Harvey's crimes, thus keeping all of their accomplishments intact, Batman has to be reborn as something else. Hot on the heels of a video essay saying that in The Karate Kid, and a fanmade trailer that of the fantasy franchise, a new fan theory for The Dark Knight has proposed that The Joker could be considered the hero truly responsible for saving Gotham City instead of Batman. The new theory lays out some pretty compelling evidence for how the seemingly anarchistic plans of The Joker are actually all part of a plan to clean up the corruption of Gotham City, from the police department to its latest vigilante. He's actually ready to hang up the cowl and let Harvey Dent fight the good fight. And it’s not wrong—the film subverts convention by offering up a villain who doesn’t have some overarching plan for world domination or copious amounts of wealth—he’s a force of nature, which is a terrific foil for a hero who refuses to kill and is struggling to find the balance of saving lives without putting more in danger. The essay also points out that it’s not just using the character of The Joker that guarantees success, as evidenced by Suicide Squad . Agree? His sacrifice has bought Gotham that hard-earned peace and he can vanish into the night knowing that the mob is safely behind bars. Want more? Learn more about The Dark Knight Joker theory below! The theory comes from (via ) and introduces the theory pretty simply: Joker, although a lying psychopath, is actually the hero in The Dark Knight. Batman's betting the other way—that neither ferry will condemn the other to death—while he's waiting to find out he has to stop Gotham's SWAT team from killing a bunch of innocent hostages. Bruce dives into that building under construction, where the Joker has holed himself up and, in a move of pure evil genius, dressed the hostages up like his minions so that the police will butcher them like hogs. And Heath Ledger s performance, combined with how the script built the villain, actually adds some credence to the theory, as we never really know the character s true motivations. One thing s for sure, Jared Leto certainly has his work cut out for him in order to make his version of The Joker shake a stick at what many consider to be the definitive version of the villain in Christopher Nolan s revered sequel. What do you think of this theory about The Joker in The Dark Knight? All names, trademarks and images are copyright their respective owners. That's when the Joker kills Commissioner Loeb and a crusading judge, then tries to kill Harvey himself at Bruce Wayne's penthouse shindig. He becomes the amoral murderer in the eyes of the public: Suddenly, just when they're getting ready to take the ball in for the big win, they're forced to cough it up on the goal line by the guy in purple and green. The Joker has rigged two ferries to blow, counting on the cowardice and self-preservation of the passengers to show Batman what the city's soul really looks like. We get Act II without Acts I or III, which leaves a lot of middle steps without any of the first or last ones in the story. But folks underestimated not just Ledger’s performance, but the brilliance of the film’s screenplay by Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan. He wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in which he outlined the 17 stages of a mythological hero's journey. About half a century later, Christopher Vogler down to 12 in an attempt to show Hollywood how every story ever written should—and, uh, does —follow Campbell's pattern. He's got plenty of enemies too: It sounds like the internet must have some kind of obsession with turning heroes to villains and vice versa. The very night he tells Rachel that Harvey's the guy for the job, the Joker crashes his party and throws Rachel out the nearest window. Entire sections of the city were closed off due to madness, organized crime ran rampant, and the majority of important city officials were wildly corrupt. The city even tolerated a renegade vigilante who ran around wearing a rubber suit (Okay, special armor and carbon fiber, but they don t know that). Along comes the Joker and by the end of a very short time, almost all organized crime was eliminated, many corrupt officials were imprisoned or dead, and the city s Vigilante even went into hiding for 8 years. He's kicking so much butt in fact, that criminals are scared to do anything illegal, and with Harvey Dent making a splash, there may soon come a time when Gotham City doesn't need a winged vigilante anymore. Instead, he becomes a repository for all that heinous despair that the Joker was trying to drown them with.