Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dark is the night

The Dark Knight was one of the most awaited films of 2008. By Batman afficiandoes at least. Bruce Wayne has just lost his girlfriend to a man who deserves her better. His speech reflects his jealousy as well as his attempt to be fair to a good man and a good woman. Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhal) and Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) are the white knights, fighting criminals in a lawful way. Poor Bruce Wayne has chosen the dark path because he thought it would be more effective, killing dark with dark. Harvey wisely combines his white ways with the dark to nail the mob in Gotham City. But alas, his acts has repercussions that nearly crush the city and its inhabitants. Increased attack on the Mob force them to bring in their trump card, the Joker.

The Joker turns out to be the worst nightmare that Gotham has seen, and Batman has combated. Why? Because the Joker has no agenda but mischief. He has no plans and no ambitions. He is this maverick villain who is very hard to figure out.

Before he is done, there are innocent people who are slashed viciously, blown up and burned, their integrity tested, their personalities twisted.

Micheal Caine and Morgon Freeman are such established actors, that they just have to walk on to the set to give it grace and dignity. Morgon's half-smiles when he deals with corporate upstarts convey a world of dialogue. Micheal Caine as Alfred is perfect.

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent comes across as a personable man bent upon going the right way to defeat the dark forces until he falls ..

Maggie Gyllenhal as the new Rachel Dawes had to look good mostly, which she does with panache. But this Rachel is also torn between the two men in her life, the dark and the white knight.

Christian Bale is perfect as Batman and Bruce. For a change he actually tries a different personality for both, a casual billionaire who cares less about what is going on around him. Seemingly interested in just womanising and having a good time, he changes when he dons the batsuit, becomes faster, bulkier, gruffer.

Heath Ledger as joker is iconic. He has made history. He gave the role his all. His joker is never menacing, but is playful and comic always. But his deeds belie his appearance as he happily slashes his way through the film, killing and maiming people without remorse. The scene when he skips happily out of the hospital and watching it blow up is going to be around in my mind for a long long time.

Happy viewing folks.. dont forget to watch this one.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Went off to see Hancock yesterday with my son. The movie was handpicked by him out of several offerings. Long live innocence. The movie gets into the groove right away, with police chasing the baddies. Hancock is drunk senseless, ill dressed, foul mouthed and foul tempered. Nevertheless, he lands up to help. The baddies are bashed up and left hanging from some pointy tower in LA. The general public does not know whether to laugh or cry because a lot of property is damaged by Hancock.

In comes Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), the good hearted loser. He is saved by Hancock from being crushed by a train in his usual destructive fashion. But Ray refuses to bash Hancock, he highlights the fact that his life was saved. Hancock delivers him home and is immediately taken by his beautiful wife and son. The wife seems to dislike him for some reason.

Ray decides to give Hancock a makeover, and tries to make him more people savvy. He gets Hancock a proper super-person suit instead of his usual shorts and shirt. He tries to teach Hancock how to get on the good side of public, damage less property, say some good lines.

The surprise comes when Hancock learns about his past.... which involves Ray's beautiful wife Mary (ahem.. Charlize Theron).

A good story, something different from the usual pat explanations that other superhero's have.

My only grouse with this movie was that it was over too soon. We cant do with a movie that gets over in an hour and a half.. I barely got time to finish my popcorn. Hancock II are you listening ??