Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight and the WOT

I saw The Dark Knight last night and yes, it is as good as everyone says it is. And yes, Heath Ledger's performance of The Joker is Oscar worthy.

As I was watching it, I kept trying to keep out of my head that the movie was swimming in metaphors about the war on terror. I tell myself that I am obsessed with world events and I can't keep seeing things through that prism. I tell myself to just enjoy the frickin movie.

Well, I am not the only one who saw the Dark Knight as a metaphor for Bush and his courage to fight the war on terror despite being hated for it.

Andrew Klavan of the WSJ says this:

There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

That seemed obvious with wall of computer screens at Bruce Wayne's home that were "spying on every one in Gotham City" through their cell phone or some sort of sonar. The character of the scientist played Morgan Freedman says he will do it this once during this crisis and then resign, and as he does the screens blow up.

Message to Bush: When we have defeated these monsters, the wiretapping thing has to go.

Then there is The Joker telling Batman that his problem is that has "rules" and the Joker has "no rules." Yeah. Guess who else doesn't have any "rules?" The terrorists. The movie even used the word "terrorists" a few times.

Not too get too deep here (I know, I's just a movie!) But I have to write about my favorite part of the movie. If you haven't seen it, this won't give anything away and if you have, then you will know what I am talking about.

It's when the prisoner tells the policeman on the ferry to give him the device and he will do what the policeman should have done 10 minutes earlier. Which turns out to be the right thing.

Omg....I love it when people do the right thing.

The movie is just full of scenes that stir in us thoughts of what is good and evil and how we define it. Are we all susceptible to it? When do we become as bad as what we are fighting? Do the ends justify the means? At one point The Joker says, "everyone says I'm crazy, but I'm just ahead of the curve."

When I was young I read William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." I cried and cried at towards the end at this line:

"Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."

It was the first time in my life that I thought about how easy it could be for us to lose our sense of morality and become animals. Since then I have learned a great deal about the darkness of man's heart, but I have also learned that in all of our history, man has also managed to bring the light out of the darkness. Even in the blackness that was the Holocaust, good people stood steadfast in the goodness of man's heart.

Yeah, it's just a movie. It's just a comic book movie, but it's a dang good one if it makes contemplate such things.

h/t BigDog