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The Dark Knight Commentary

Mystery writer Andrew Klavan, writing in The Wall Street Journal, compared the extreme measures that Batman takes to fight crime with those U.S. President George W. Bush used in the War on Terror.

Klavan claims that, "at some level" The Dark Knight is "a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war."

Klavan supports this reading of the film by comparing Batman—like Bush, Klavan argues—"sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past."


Klavan's article has received criticism on the Internet and in mainstream media outlets, such as in The New Republic's "The Plank." Reviewing the film in The Sunday Times, Cosmo Landesman reached the opposite conclusion to Klavan, arguing that The Dark Knight "offers up a lot of moralistic waffle about how we must hug a terrorist – okay, I exaggerate.


The Dark Knight Themes and Analysis

According to David S. Goyer, the primary theme of The Dark Knight is escalation. Gotham City is weak and the citizens blame Batman for the city's violence and corruption as well as the Joker's threats, and it pushes his limits, making him feel that taking the laws into his own hands is further downgrading the city.

Roger Ebert noted, "Throughout the film, the Joker devises ingenious situations that force Batman, Commissioner Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent to make impossible ethical decisions. By the end, the whole moral foundation of the Batman legend is threatened."


Other critics have mentioned the theme of the triumph of evil over good. Harvey Dent is seen as Gotham's "White Knight" in the beginning of the film but ends up becoming seduced to evil. The Joker, on the other hand, is seen as the representation of anarchy and chaos.

He has no motive, no orders, and no desires but to cause havoc and "watch the world burn." The terrible logic of human error is another theme as well. The ferry scene displays how humans can easily be enticed by iniquity.


The Dark Knight Awards

Most notable among the nominations were Heath Ledger's almost complete sweep of over twenty awards for acting, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

The Dark Knight also received nominations from the Writers Guild of America (for Best Adapted Screenplay), the Producers Guild of America, and the Directors Guild of America, as well as a slew of other guild award nominations and wins. It was nominated for Best Film at the Critics Choice Awards and was named one of the top ten films of 2008 by the American Film Institute.


The Dark Knight won two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger and Best Sound Editing. It was additionally nominated for six others, these being Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup, and Best Film Editing.

Heath Ledger was the first posthumous winner of the Best Supporting Actor award, and only the second posthumous acting winner ever (Peter Finch posthumously won the Best Actor award for his performance in the 1976 film Network).


In addition, Ledger's win marked the first win in any of the major Oscar categories (producing, directing, acting, or writing) for a superhero-based film. Notably, Richard King's win in the Sound Editing category blocked a complete awards sweep of the evening by the eventual Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire.

A British-American production, the film was nominated for the 2009 Goya Award for Best European Film. It had a nomination in Japan for the 2009 Seiun Awards under the Science Fiction category with a Japan Academy Prize Award for Best Foreign Film.


The Dark Knight Box Office

The Dark Knight earned $534,858,444 in North America and $469,700,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $1,004,558,444. It became the fourth film in history to gross more than $1 billion worldwide and the highest-grossing film of 2008 worldwide.

It is currently the 18th-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide. It made $199.7 million on its worldwide opening weekend which ranks 28th on the all-time chart.

In an attempt to cross $1 billion in worldwide gross and in order to increase the chances of the film winning Oscars since the voting for the Academy Awards was approaching, Warner Bros. re-released the film in traditional theaters and IMAX theaters in the United States – as well as in other countries- on January 23, 2009.

It finally accomplished its goal, to cross the $1-billion-mark, in February 2009. Therefore, as of March 2009, its total earnings stand at over $1 billion worldwide.



Resources:
IMDB.com, Wikipedia.org
screenmusings.org






COMPLETE STORY & SCREENSHOTS


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Batman honors his own non-lethal code and swerves around the Joker then crashes into the flipped truck, falling to the ground. As the Joker jumps on him with a knife, one of the SWAT officers holds a gun to the back of his head, and upon removing his helmet and mask, shows that it was Lt. Gordon, who faked his death to protect his family. The Joker is hauled away to the MCU. Harvey gets out of the truck and into a cruiser, stating he is off to see a worried girlfriend.


At Gordon's Major Crimes Unit building, Gordon is promoted to Commissioner by the Mayor. The Joker shares a cell with a large man who complains about his insides hurting.


Commissioner Gordon, after reuniting with his family, gets a call explaining that Harvey never made it home. He returns to the prison to interrogate the Joker. During the interrogation, Batman appears and starts beating on the Joker, trying to find out where Harvey is.


The Joker gets under Batman's skin telling him that they are both freaks and that when the people of Gotham no longer view Batman as a necessity, they will turn on him. Batman becomes enraged and puts a chair under the door and beats the Joker savagely, but The Joker just laughs and defiantly tells Batman that there is nothing he can do to him to hurt him and that he actually enjoys the beatings.


The Joker sadistically reveals that not just Harvey, but Rachel are in separate locations, both tied up and strapped to explosives that will explode in a short amount of time.


He gives the locations of the two, saying that he only has time to save one of them and that he must make a choice that will violate Batman's "code" of non-lethal means...that one of them will die since Batman cannot save them both. Batman heads off, telling Gordon that he's going after Rachel. Gordon gets some men ready and heads off after Harvey.


As Batman and the police are rushing towards the two prisoners, Harvey awakens to hear Rachel's voice. Whoever captured them set up an intercom system so that the two can communicate. Harvey tells Rachel that everything will be okay, and Rachel tells Harvey that she wants to marry him.


While Dent's trying to hop around in his chair trying to find something sharp to cut his ropes with, he falls over and knocks an oil drum down, and the gasoline spills all over half of his face. Meanwhile, back at the jail, the Joker tricks a cop and holds him hostage, and he tells the other cops he just wants his phone call.


Upon getting a cell phone and dialing a number, the large man that was in the cell with him blows up. The Joker had cut him open and implanted a cell phone-triggered device inside of him. The Joker grabs Lau and flees the jail.


Batman arrives at the address that the Joker had told him Rachel was at, but when he opens the door, he finds Harvey Dent instead, who screams in despair at having been found instead of Rachel. Gordon arrives at the supposed location for Dent but the warehouse explodes and Rachel is killed.


As Batman saves Dent by carrying him out of the warehouse, the explosion ignites the gas that saturated Dent's face, horribly burning it. Dent is taken to Gotham General Hospital. Batman visits Dent in the hospital, and leaves him the two-headed coin that they found at Rachel's site of death. One side of the coin is still shiny, while the other side is scraped and burnt.


Alfred reads Rachel's letter. She explains that she is going to marry Harvey Dent and that when she told him that she would be with him when he no longer need to be Batman that she meant it. However, she realizes that he will always be Batman so she will always be there as his friend.


Bruce expresses to Alfred his devastation behind losing Rachel and that he feels responsible for inspiring madness and death. he tells Alfred that she was going to wait for him. Alfred chooses not to give him her letter, saying the time is not right and that with Harvey Dent hospitalized, it will be up to him alone to fight the crime in Gotham City.


Meanwhile, Harvey wakes up in the hospital with a large bandage over half of his face, finds his now scarred two-headed coin, and screams out in anguish over losing the one person he loved.


Commissioner Gordon visits Dent and tries to tell him how sorry he is for what has transpired, questioning why Dent refused skin grafts and how he can stand to be in unrelenting agony over his disfigurement.


Harvey is filled with rage for Gordon not listening to him when he warned Gordon not to trust the corrupt officers that Dent investigated during his time in Internal Affairs which has resulted in Dent's disfigurement and ultimately Rachel's death.


Dent demands Gordon tell him the nickname they had for him when he was in I.A., which Gordon ashamedly replies "Harvey Two-Face," while being forced to stare at the extensive burns and scarred tissue that have enveloped half of Harvey's face. As Gordon leaves an emotionally devastated Harvey, he runs into Maroni in the hallway who tells him that the Joker has gone too far and that if Gordon wants the clown, he knows where he will be.



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