I bet Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane, The creators of the character, never expected The Joker to out shine the Batman in any story, But I would bet my last cent that the way the thespian Heath Ledger did much more than justice to his portrayal of the character. This must be the same character they imagined when DC Comics releases the the comics Batman#1 in the spring of 1940.
I got a chance to see “The Dark Knight” yesterday. I need to say it; the movie is huge, arguably the best movie of 2008 (Basing on the box-office draw happening around the world, this is just as fearless a forecast as it could get). The second of the Batman series that is set to become a trilogy is lengthy enough to satisy the viewer and juicy enough for them to crave for more. With that said, Will I be looking forward to the third installation of the series? Of course I am! but the question is; will it carry the same weight as the second film? That ladies and gentlemen is the biggest question of all.
It is a batman flick. Needless to say that the billionaire playboy in the Batsuit, driving around town in a batmobile or a batcycle is the primordial focus of the movie. And I have to say that Christopher Nolan, the director, has done a marvelous job in accomplishing that in the first movie (batman begins). As for the second movie, the spotlight was split into two or three if you count Harvey Dent. In as much as the movie tried to stay focused on the caped crusader. The Joker character is just too much to ignore. The joker is the light of the shade, the yin of the yang, Chiaroscurro. When Nolan describe the character of the Joker as ” the ultimate villain”, he was not joking. As a matter of fact, I think that is even an understatement. Now with Ledger gone, What kind villain would appear in the third movie. Who would dare to step on the Joker’s shoes knowing that its just to big a shoe to fill.
Heath Ledger played the role like it was the role he was born to play. Thinking about the Jack Nicholson portrayal of the Joker on the Michael Keaton’s batman starrer, i think it is a joke. Don’t get me wrong; I admire nicholson as an actor, but Ledger’s portrayal of the arch villain made nicholson’s performance like a child play. The greatest irony of the movie is that; the joker’s character is just to dark that it casted an ethereal light on the entire movie itself. The character is simply devoid of empathy. Twitchier, Edgier. It is madness personified.
Rumors have it that Ledger took the portrayal of the joker too seriously. I guess to seriously. Ledger lived in a hotel room alone for a month to formulate the Joker’s psyche and posture. he even kept a diary to record the joker’s thoughts and feelings as a guide to his portrayal. After completing the movie, Ledger confided to one major newspaper that his role has affected his ablility to sleep, admitting that he is taking Zolpidem or Ambien pills. Zolpidem is a prescription medication used for the short-term treatment of insomnia, as well as some brain disorders. He said on an interview “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. … I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.”
Last January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger passed away. The cause of death is an accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications. Looking back, I remember the Joker’s line to the batman at the end of the movie, He said ” Madness is just like gravity, all you need is a little push”.
Heath Ledger once said “When I die, My money’s not gonna come with me. My movies will go on for people to judge what I was as a person” I have to agree with it, but you left too soon Mr. Ledger… You left too soon.