After almost 2 weeks of the islandwide theatrical release, I finally watched the Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, today.

I’ve read so many blogs about how good Heath Ledger is. I felt that his performance is overrated, partly because he didn’t hog the screen time a lot. No doubt he portrayed The Joker excellently, but that is what good actors do. In comparison, I would very much prefer this year’s Oscar winner for supporting actor, Javier Bardem, in his villain role for “No Country For Old Men”, and felt his acting is more impactful, partly because of his extensive screen time.

The plot of The Dark Knight feels a lot like the Die Hard series, where the good guy has to crack riddles or solve dilemmas plotted by the villain in such an inconceivably flawless way.

But I took home another more important lesson that is the soul of the Batman comic’s essence. And that is how a futile vigilante struggles in a city of ultimate corrupt to fight crime. Rather than creating a superhero that seems to always save the day at every appearance, Batman deals with real issues about how having a masked vigilante could make things worse, by luring villains like The Joker to unleash their talent to scheme just for pleasure.

The scriptwriter truly captures the essence of the relationship between Batman and Joker, and that they need each other to make their existence meaningful. I felt depressed that there is such a ‘hopeless’ societal city where being corrupt is the way of life. If I do ever live in this kind of city, I would have moved out long ago. But this is just fiction, a way of storytelling in order to deliver entertainment value, and at the same time teaches us some human values.

I’m not sure how the next Batman can continue to develop this human element. Or it could simply be a “Batman Saves The Day” flick, like what Tim Burton’s previous Batman franchise did. Seriously, Tim Burton’s version is family-friendly and has its values. Nowadays, it’s harder to be good filmmakers because the audience expectations go up exponentially. With all the CGI-effects bombarding the cinematic world, how can you expect producers to make films that thrills audience and yet contains character depth?

Surprisingly, The Dark Knight does that. And it deserves to be on the fastest-grossing film of all time.

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