Darkness has fallen over Gotham. As Bruce Wayne fights to bring the criminals of Gotham to justice, he must also find the strength to face his most deadly nemesis when a malevolent entity known as the Joker unleashes chaos on Gotham city.
There is an ironic theme woven throughout the story that depicts the hero of Gotham as a knight who bravely protects the people from the chaos inflicted on them by villains like the Joker. The hero’s identity takes on two very distinct forms: the white knight and the dark knight. The question one must ponder is “which knight is the true hero of Gotham?”
For the citizens of Gotham, Harvey Dent represents what Gotham’s hero should be; the white knight who would protect the people of Gotham from villains who sought to destroy them. The irony of Harvey Dent’s character is that while as Gotham’s hero he was willing to sacrifice everything in order to protect the citizens of Gotham from the Joker, when the time came for him to be the hero that Gotham needed, rather than transcending the darkness created by the Joker, he was instead consumed by it.
Batman represents the dark knight. On the one hand, he is a symbol of hope for the people; a silent hero who devotes his life to protecting Gotham from villains like the Joker. Unlike Harvey Dent though, he is also burdened with living a double life. As Batman, he is infinite. As Bruce Wayne, he is very much human, and he must choose between surrendering to the Joker’s insanity and rising above his own fragile humanity to be the hero that Gotham needs, even if doing so means protecting the people of Gotham from the shadows.
The Joker is the most sinister that Batman has ever come up against. What makes the Joker stand apart from other villains such as Bane or the Penguin is that while he may appear to be a man of flesh and blood, hidden deep within this painted nemesis dwells a heart that lacks anything resembling human compassion. He is not driven by a code of ethics, but rather by a code of malevolence; an insatiable desire to destroy life for no other reason but the simple fact that he thrives on creating chaos. The irony of the Joker is that while he thrives on creating chaos and destruction, he doesn’t want to kill Batman because to the Joker, Batman represents the perfect adversary. While the original Joker portrayed by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s “Batman” appeared to have a style that combined malevolence with a twisted and malignant humor, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” was the embodiment of pure evil.
“The Dark Knight” is one of the darkest films in the “Batman” franchise, but in my opinion, it is also one of the best. The casting is stellar, but Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker is by far one of the best portrayals of this villain in any of the Batman story arcs. If you are a follower of the “Batman” saga, then this movie is definitely worthy of your time.