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The Dark Knight

February 28, 2009

After Heath Ledger’s Oscar win, I thought it was time to give The Dark Knight another viewing. Even on DVD, the action and darkness of the film still comes through strongly (especially watching it late at night). Much has been written over Heath’s performance which is so menacing, but so captivating. In fact the performances of the entire supporting cast raise the film above a typical comic book movie. Along with the well crafted actions scenes, the film creates suspense through delving into chaos and anarchy, and depth through its treatment of good and evil. It is those two themes which will receive comment below.

“Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order and everything becomes chaos…you know the thing about chaos – it’s fear.” The Joker’s motivation towards creating chaos is what makes The Dark Knight such an unsettling experience. Common criminals can be somewhat understood in their greed and arrogance, but the Joker creates the fear of the unknown; fear of disorder. He is right to observe that chaos leads to fear. However, put Jesus as king of the world, and chaos is replaced with order. God is a God of order and control. We have comfort rather than fear when face with chaos as we can trust that God left nothing out of his control and has a plan for our world. This is acutely felt when faced with the prospect of death. Nothing is more out of our control and so fear is the only option for those who don’t know Jesus. But he has promised a future of order, with all things under God and so beyond death is not chaos for those who trust in him.

**Spoiler Alert**

The tension between good and evil within a character is explored with great effect in the film. The goodness of the human spirit is appealed to as a sign for hope, as seen in the Joker’s failed ferry experiment. The hope of Batman and Gotham city was ultimately placed in Harvey Dent. However, this hope is a false hope as Harvey loses his ‘white knight’ morality. In the end, the city can only hope is the fake memory of Harvey, without the world knowing the truth of his actions. Although the film points to the human spirit to trust in, even the best of us fail. Only the Light of the World stood up to be a person to trust in, as he lived a consistent life of moral integrity, and is able to bring life to dark humans through his death on the cross.

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One comment

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