A very serious movie it turned out to be.
Watched The Dark Knight quite some time ago, and has been writing up this posting every since ^^;
I must say that I'm extremely impressed by the movie. Amidst the action, the explosion and Batman's new suit and weapon, the Bat-pod, there's something very different in this Batman movie than any of its previous ones. I was full of thoughts after the movie, and it's quite hard to put them into words actually. In short, I would say that this is a superhero movie you can't enjoy like Ironman or The Incredible Hulk.
It's a good movie, but it's not fun to watch. One has to watch it, seriously.
Bruce Wayne: [to Rachel] You know that day you once told me about, when Gotham would no longer need Batman?
The story of The Dark Knight is very complex. You can say that it's more of a crime movie with Batman in it. Put in the middle of everything is the Joker, a sadistic and psychotic villain with great intelligence but with no grand evil scheme of any sort what-so-ever. The only thing he wants is to watch the world in chaos. Batman on the other hand, seems to have very little idea of how to deal with the Joker.
Harvey Dent: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
And of course, another intriguing character is Harvey Dent, who later becomes Two-Face. Originally, I thought he's going to be an annoying character who is going to compete with Bruce Wayne in real life for Rachel Dawes, and in crime-fighting to be Gotham's 'real' hero, but he turns out to be someone with a big heart for the city's safety. I would say he's like Batman fighting in daylight with his hood off - definitely harder and riskier since every villain in Gotham knows exactly who he is, not to mention he has no nifty weapons, the Batmobile nor Bat-pod to protect himself with. What happened to him in the end was extremely tragic. As a matter of fact, every good character in the movie seems to be suffering from some sort of losses by the end of the movie.
Alfred Pennyworth: Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it. But that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.
You guess it right, there's no happy ending in this movie. The Joker and Two Face are indeed defeated - no spoiler needed, the villains defeated is the general ending for all super hero movies anyway. ^^; But consider the losses of the good people, and the future of Gotham City, I say everything is as gloomy as the beginning of the movie. For me, there is no hope for Gotham City, but Batman will continue his uphill battle, alone. What we can do is just to watch plenty more melancholic fights of his in future sequels.
Batman: I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be.
As mentioned before, the story is very complex. The chase between Batman, Detective Gordon and Harvey Dent with the Joker was full of plot twists. When you think the situation has deteriorated to the worst level for the good guys, the situation turns positive for them again; and just when you think the good guys finally bag him, the Joker would have something else installed for everyone, and everyone goes chasing him again, and again. With him as a villain with no obvious plan to start off with. The total chaos the Joker caused in Gotham City was just unimaginable.
The Joker: I am not a schemer. I show schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.
With that said, I think the character of the Joker truly outshines Batman in this movie. He poked holes in Gotham's security with all his deeds, he poked holes in the various criminal groups' 'conventional' villain mindset, he poked holes in Batman and Bruce Wayne's endurance, and he poked holes in the conscience of Gotham's people, yet, he's supposed to be crazy (psychotic is the formal word ^^). To me, the Joker is a character who vigorously challenges our order of life, and our attitude towards it. Before the thin line of life and death, would you still hold true to your morality, and bet your life (and death) on the same decision to be made by some strangers? When the life that your live by in order are threatened by people who mess up everything, and yet they seem to be ripping the benefits from it, would you endure the pain? or would you break? The Joker is the character who would try everything to make you choose the later. As Batman and Harvey Dent found out in the movie, their decision in certain situations often caused them unsalvageable suffering.
The Joker: It wasn't hard. Y'see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little...push.
Really, being a movie that break all the records in the box office around the world isn't a reason good enough for you to go and watch this movie if you haven't seen it yet (and it's already so late now! ^^;). Batman is just the brand, go for the drama behind this movie instead. I'm sure you'll love it too.
All images from The Dark Knight's official site and IMDB.