Saturday, July 19, 2008

The darkness in "The Dark Knight"

"He is what Gotham deserves to have, but not what Gotham needs at this moment."

The Dark Knight is the story of the human superhero, the hero of a civilization which has been bogged down by the darkness of wisdom in a deep valley of hopelessness. He is the ultimate self in a time when the human mind has lost its faith in goodwill; a time when people started to be driven by their selfishness, their mundane desires and their gory revenges of the past, turning Gotham City into a reality hell of daemons.

Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) has been doing the "shit-cleaning job" of Gotham all the while. He has been letting the people of his city sleep in peace; he has been driving all those ill-motif souls to their deserved places of sins. The children have been looking up to him as the ultimate resort, and every Tom, Dick and Harry has been motivated to tread his path by wearing his gadget-y suit. Yet, Batman is Batman - his passion to make Gotham a better place to live in makes all the difference.

The movie shows the war inside a commonplace man's character, a man though like you and me, has the profuse responsibility of sweeping the gory floors of a world turned selfish and wicked. The movie raises a question on our love of the presence of a superhero - a person godly enough to possess all the qualities which could make the world a better place to live in. A person who transcends all human limitations. A man in the real sense of the term. The man of every woman's dream. A man of character, of motive, of warmth and of self-resilience.

But reality is far from this dream. Batman, a superhero with a mask cannot inspire a generation; he cannot motivate twenty other teenagers to leave the path of sin and embark on a path towards a new dawn. So Batman decides, "let there be darkness before there is that twilight." He feels Batman needs to be erased from the soul of Gotham; what Gotham needs at this moment is a real hero, of flesh and blood, a man whom the commonplace can relate to.

The movie ends with our man of character and power having to flee. Flee with no wrong-doing in record. Flee for the sake of humanity, for a better civilization, more responsible by itself. Flee with the image of a real human as the hero, not a masked superhero.

The movie somehow made me think our definitions of perfection. We dream of an utopia, and we dream that sometime someday there would be one great man who will wipe the world clean of every misdoing. We laze around, sit without the sense of a responsibility, waiting for that superhero incarnated person to come up and end all the woes in the world. But don't we ourselves have a role to play? Aren't we ourselves responsible for a better tomorrow?

The world does not need comic-book heroes, men of dreams or people whose intellect or wisdom is a bolt from the blue, rather it needs real and mundane heroes, like you and me, who can deliver the crusade of making the civilization wiser and better at each dawn, everyday.

Let us wake up before it is too late for one single person with a noble thought (like Batman) to sacrifice the 'hero' in him and get doomed cleaning a world full of shit.

I would not reveal the actual story here, but it is one of the most beautiful movies I have ever watched. It has profound philosophy, it has the passion of fulfilling one's dream and it has the real world connection of a superhero being a part of the same world we live in. The movies ends with a note which asks us the question of our own responsibilities towards mankind, instead of a all-powerful superhero accomplishment.


Aparna Kar said...

I loved Heath Ledger in this movie. He was scary ! Could have given Jack Nicholson a run for his money. And that's saying a lot coz I am a Nichilson fan. About Christian Bale.. *sigh* *deep sigh* *day dreams*
Did I mention it to you that I had a crush on Bruce Wayne as a kid :P

Munmun said...

@ Aparna
Oh yeah sure, Ledger deserves an Academy Award!

You had a crush :D on Bruce Wayne; in fact, on similar lines, I have had big time crush on Christian Bale after watching him in Batman Begins :D