Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

Wright 1

Zachariah Wright
Ms. Singleton
English 107
23 February 2015
The Film Gotham Deserves
You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain, says
Harvey Dent (Nolan, Dark Knight). According to The New Yorker columnist David Denby, The
Dark Knight sees itself as the latter (Denby). However, Christopher Nolans The Dark Knight is
an excellent specimen of film-making genius. Despite Denby and his colleagues critiques, The
Dark Knight is well-deserving of its praise due to its elaborate storytelling.
Christopher Nolans The Dark Knight details Batmans attempts to cure his city of evil,
despite the chaotic endeavors of the Joker. During the film, Batmans quest to bring order to
Gotham by eliminating its criminals ultimately leads the criminals to turn to the Joker for help.
To stop the criminals, Batman and Commissioner James Gordon pool their efforts into helping
district attorney Harvey Dent lock away the criminals, seeing Dent as their own White Knight
(Nolan, Dark Knight). A cat and mouse game of morals between Batman and the Joker results in
the latter viciously maiming Harvey Dent. The Joker finally convinces an emotionally unstable
Dent to seek revenge upon those he believes responsible for his grotesque appearance, Gordon
and Batman. After defeating the Joker and Dent, Batman decides to accept the blame for Dents
crimes, not allowing the Joker to reign victorious and send Gotham City into chaos (Nolan, Dark
Knight).
Critic David Denby concludes that The Dark Knight director Nolan does nothing to
present the narrative coherently to bring out contrasts and build toward a satisfying climax
(Denby). In The New Yorker, Denby points to the Hong Kong scene in the first act to establish an
insignificant part of the plot given too much screen time (Denby). On this point, Denby argues
that the scene extremely over-budgeted and doesnt find any value in it being in the plot. Citing

Wright 2
the scene in which the Joker preys on Harveys emotions in the hospital, the drama most critical
to the development of the film is overlooked by Nolan, according to Denby (Denby). The New
Yorker film critic believes that more time should have been spent on the development of
characters like Dent and Heath Ledgers Joker.
Critic Denby fails to recognize the elements of the film which draw meaning from scenes
like the one in Hong Kong. This visually beautiful scene exhibits Nolans expert action directing.
David Edelstein calls this scene a sight to see (Edelstein). The scene in Hong Kong sets up the
framework for the later action sequences in the film by giving director Nolan and actor Christian
Bale the tools to develop scenes like the car chase between the police and the Joker. The trip to
Hong Kong helps to characterize Batmans inability to let justice be toppled by criminals. By
venturing into foreign waters, director Nolan demonstrates the lengths which Bruce Wayne will
go to bring order to his city (Nolan, Dark Knight). During much of the film, the Joker and the
mob employ a shell game of money-moving in order to stay ahead of Batman, moving the
money out of the country. This also introduces the first clear antagonist of the film, Lau, and sets
the stage for his appearance in the third act. Nolan also provides an introduction to a recurring
antagonist, a trope of American superhero literature (Nolan, Dark Knight).
Blundering by not understanding that the important moments of the film surround
Batman and the Jokers contrasting moral fight for Gotham City, Denby feels the film suffers
from constant climax (Denby). Upon losing his fight to Batman, says the Joker, You wont
kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness and I wont kill you because youre
just too much fun (Nolan, Dark Knight). When Batman explains that the people are prepared to
believe in heroes like Dent, the Joker replies, Until their spirit breaks completely. Until they get
a good look at the real Harvey Dent and all the heroic things hes done (Nolan, Dark Knight).

Wright 3
This discussion between Batman and the Joker is developed well and exemplifies the idea that
the two characters stand at moral odds with each other, presenting the main and most important
conflict of the film. Upon the death of Harvey Dent, Batman laments of Dents crimes, I can do
those things because Im not a hero, not like Dent Im whatever Gotham needs me to be
(Nolan, Dark Knight). This supports the idea that Batman stands for something greater than
himself and personal glory. This final scene between Batman and Commissioner Gordon stands
as one of the most well-developed and meaningful moments of the film.
Christopher Nolans The Dark Knight is, in spite of the opinions of critics like Denby, an
excellent film which deserves its acclaim. The film exhibits strong character and plot
development as a result of Nolans directing, exceptional scriptwriting, and great acting. The
Dark Knight hoists itself as one of the best films of the decade, and its not wrong.

Wright 4
Works Cited
The Dark Knight. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Perf. Christian Bale, Heath Ledger. Warner Bros.
Pictures, 2008. Film.
Denby, David. Past Shock. The New Yorker. Cond Nast, 21 July 2008. Web. 17 February
2015.
Edelstein, David. Bat Out of Hell. New York. New York Media, 14 July 2008. Web. 17
February 2015.