Two thumbs up, and an Oscar to boot for Ledger

When a summer blockbuster receives as much hype as Batman: The Dark Knight, expectations can become so high that they are impossible to meet. Well, this DC Comic movie masterpiece managed to pull it off.

What made this movie great was that its typical action-packed explosive fights were coupled with philosophical and psychological vistas not usually seen in American films.

The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger who is currently being considered for an Oscar, is the single greatest villain to hit the big screen since the very beginning of Hollywood’s epic quest to bring our childhood comic book heroes to life. Never mind Bruce Wayne/Batman. When the Joker was in the lime light, people watched him with a ravenous intensity that left the dark knight green with envy.

This is not a film about the battle between good and evil. It is an illustration of the struggle between order and chaos – the abandonment of absolutes for the sake of social equilibrium.

Unlike the average mobster who plays his typical role in the good guys versus bad guys battle, the Joker represents a force of nature completely outside the house of cards society has made for itself. Heath Ledger plays the chaotic breeze that leaves Gotham City struggling to maintain its flimsy structure.

When asked what his plan is, the Joker responds, “Do I look like a guy with a plan? I’m like a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it.”

The only disconcerting aspect of the film was that I occasionally found myself rooting for the maniacal clown. That alone should merit Ledger an Oscar.

When it was all over I felt loose and unbalanced – as if someone had spun me around in a chair and told me to run. My own inner equilibrium had been effectively dissolved – in a good way.

Heath Ledger completely mesmerized the audience with his performance and for that reason I give his performance as the Joker two thumbs up.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this Halloween we had more children dressed as clowns than as Batman.

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