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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Ledger shines as Joker; ‘Dark Knight’ is the movie of the summer

If we look back to 2005, we may remember the final moments of “Batman Begins” speaking of escalation. When Lt. Gordon raised questions to Batman about the criminals’ counteraction to the appearance of a crime fighting caped crusader, another voice was also speaking. Hidden underneath the fears of his characters, director Christopher Nolan was promising a heightened continuation of his newly established “Batman” franchise.

Now, the full realization of Nolan’s promise assaults movie going audiences in the form of Batman’s most legendary nemesis, the Joker. As one of the crucial performances of “The Dark Knight,” the late Heath Ledger embodies the Joker with terrifying realism and praiseworthy perfection. As a performance that was worthy of an Oscar far before the actor’s untimely death, the Joker is one of the many aspects of “The Dark Knight” working for an unprecedented greatness and acceptance of a new generation of superhero films.

In countless ways, “The Dark Knight” is much more than just a superhero film, or even a “Batman” film. As a sophisticated crime drama with a stellar lineup of multi-layered characters, “The Dark Knight” tells the story of how the seemingly ill-fated Gotham City is desperately trying to clean their streets of organized crime. Now, instead of Batman reigning as the sole hero, a team of new and familiar faces emerge to assist Batman in his own organized combat to crime.

Having raised the eyes of Batman and his trusted ally Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Gotham’s new district attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) begins his rise to power over the fearing criminals of Gotham. However, hoping to put a damper on his efforts is a maniac bank robber dressing like a demonic clown calling himself the Joker. By making himself an icon for the criminal underworld much like Batman did for Gotham, the Joker fuses a connection with Batman deep within the conflicting ideals of these iconic characters. Now, the confrontations between Batman and the Joker display as powerful as DeNiro facing Pacino for the first time in the crime drama, “Heat”; a film Nolan claims was high inspiration for “The Dark Knight.”

While the Joker may seem to be the focus of “The Dark Knight’s” ideas, the stake through the heart of the film is Harvey Dent. Using Dent along with a solid performance by Aaron Eckhart, Christopher Nolan infuses his film with a terrifying message of how even the greatest of heroes can be consumed by the consequences of their intentions. With Dent giving “The Dark Knight” its visual poetry, Nolan also raises questions that even shake the very foundations of our masked hero. As Dent claims early within the film, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Inevitably, when Dent moves, the rest of the film turns with him.

With “The Dark Knight” being so rich in cinematic and poetic elements, Christopher Nolan has conducted a symphony orchestra in which all instruments play their own individual masterpieces. With every entity firing on all cylinders, “The Dark Knight” is the movie of the summer, the crime saga of the decade and the greatest superhero film since Richard Donner’s “Superman” of 1978. It’s unlikely you’ll get another chance in the near future to witness a mastery of character, art and storytelling as magnificent as this.

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