Sunday, August 31, 2008

A short story ...

Read it here (PDF).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Dark Knight in the dark of the night ...!

There is this scene in the movie 'The Dark Knight' in which the villain – the Joker has half of his body out of the window of a Police car, having just escaped, when the sounds fade, he is playing around with his hair and enjoying the wind on his face as the car speeds by, at that point you feel yourself entering a surreal world and a dizzy, numb feeling envelopes you because of the sheer silence of the scene, after all the vicious and loud sounds of guns and bomb blasts that tend to wear down your ear-drums.

The movie 'The Dark Knight' is one roller-coaster ride not only into the world full of violence laced with breath-taking action sequences that are very thoughtfully executed, but as much into the emotions, psyche, vagaries and frailty of human life in the current world engulfed in a specter of mass violence. The usual philosophies of good vs evil are stretched to their limits too. Christopher Nolan and his cast/crew have done some great work both in terms of the screenplay and the dialogs, as also the overall design of the film, technically tending to being a masterpiece in a noir setting, a dark tale to justify its name perhaps! The compelling craft of movie-making is something that always makes me think - how seamlessly films are made, even with the heavy doses of underlying CG.

Some scenes that struck me as being rather unusually brilliant include, the one in which Rachel falls off a building and is saved by the Batman. Then there's one in which the Batmobile gets damaged and the Batpod emerges out of it, with its flaring nostrils, fitted with cannons and shotguns and massive tyres to give it the most macho bike look. The chase sequence which ends with the upturning of a huge trailer truck being driven by the Joker is one other superb slick scene, swiftly done up – let me assure you there are several other gripping scenes which do not overwhelm you by their use of computer graphics but which you will need to see the movie to appreciate and I am sure this movie can be watched several times, over and over!

However what takes the cake and you would surely have read the rave reviews, and which can be befittingly a tribute to the late Heath Ledger, is his very intense and engrossing role-play as the scheming Joker, an epitome of villainy. The scruffy, grimy makeup on his face and the slithering tongue with which he licks his lips, within the red smile makeup around his lips, running from cheek to cheek will stay in your memory long after you have finished the movie. And he gives a brilliant portrayal of what the character demands, a psychopathic, schizophrenic master of evil out to destroy things just for fun, and with out a care for anything including himself. Only Bale's voice is something that comes close; although both Michael Caine as Batman's butler and Gary Oldman as Lt Gordon give some great performances. Ten on ten to Ledger's acting performance, the clang in his voice, the laughs and jerky, twitchy movements of his body and the way he walks, all of his presence itself is sufficient to anticipate some brutal mischief and mindless violence of unprecedented scale. Scary to even think of the presence of such a mass-murderer, a angst-ridden terrorist amongst us in real life!

We, a few IIMB classmates were at the Forum last night @ 10 PM to catch the movie and the crowds were just unbelievable at that time of the day, chock-a-bloc and people of all demographics.


Nytimes Critics' Pick (Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind ...)