This post is long due and has taken a long time to come…
I would be committing a colossal sin if I don’t dedicate a post to my favourite movie till date, and my new favourite director – Christopher Nolan.
I have had my share of favourites like The Shawshank Redemption, Blood Diamond, The Pursuit of Happyness, October Sky, American Gangster, Forrest Gump and Schindler’s List to name a few. But till recently, I hadn’t stumbled upon Memento, Batman Begins or the latter’s sequel, the more popular “The Dark Knight”. And Oh my God, what a discovery..!
Let me start off with “Memento”. This one’s a masterpiece in the true sense of the word. It introduced a whole new dimension to film making. For people who don’t know, Memento is the original of the Tamil/Hindi movie Ghajini [starring Surya/Aamir Khan resp]. This is the story of Leonard [ brilliantly portrayed by Guy Pearce] a man who suffers from anterograde amnesia, more commonly known as short-term memory loss, who is searching for his wife’s murderer. The murder leaves him with a head injury which cripples him of his ability to form new memories. The whole movie has two parallel narratives, one in black & white and the other one in colour. The viewer is directly put into his shoes. The ten-minute colour sequences are in reverse chronological order; that is, Leonard has just lost his recent memories as each sequence begins. The scene ends after the recent events fade from his memory. That way the viewer doesn’t know the preceding events, just like Leonard. [Great direction and editing to skillfully capture these intricacies] The B&W sequences are in chronological order. Both these are linked at the end of the movie, I don’t want to let out any spoilers lest it spoil your viewing experience. All I can say is that Memento is a different movie that makes you think after watching it. Very intelligently made.
Batman Begins. This brings together the great combo of Christian Bale and Chris Nolan for the first time. What a dedicated actor Bale is..! just before batman begins, bale starred in “The Machinist” where he portrays an anorexic, insomniac machinist. He had lost about 60 pounds for this role. And then comes Nolan with this brilliant, tailor-made script for Bale..! in 6 months time, he got the perfect physique to portray Batman.
Batman begins, as the name suggests, starts off from the why and goes on the detailed ‘how’ of Batman. Masterfully made again, with the scarecrow as the villain. I particularly like the scene where Bruce gets the Batmobile..! The ending is fantasy though, I didn’t quite like its ‘realism’.
Every once in a way [or I wouldn’t be wrong if I say once in a lifetime], comes a movie as fulfilling, as scintillating and absorbing as ‘the dark knight’ [TDK]. Man..What a masterpiece..! It has the same actors from its prequel [except for Rachel’s character]. This movie has the JOKER, flawlessly portrayed by Heath Ledger, as the primary villain. And Heath’s performance as the joker is so power packed that he overshadows Bale. This is one of the few movies where you would want to watch the villain more than the hero..! for people who don’t know, Joker is this maniacal, schizophrenic criminal at Gotham City. His dialogues like— ‘why so serious?, ‘if you’re good at something, never do it for free’, ‘this city deserves a better class of criminal and I’m gonna give it to them’ and ‘I’m an agent of chaos’ are impeccable and will stick with me for years to come..!
What also adds to the dark knight’s salability is its technical brilliance. Be it the sky-hook [used by batman to kidnap Lao], or the SONAR integration to all the mobile phones at Gotham, or the finger-print tracking sequence, or the scene in which the batpod ejects from the batmobile; technically TDK is splendid. There are a lot of moral values portrayed which show the mental strength of batman. [ to be specific, in the climax, but no spoilers will be given out..!]
On the slop side, the character of Aaron Eckhart, Two-Face, could have got to do more than what is actually shown in the film. This is the only weak link, though Aaron throws in a good performance. But Joker is the rockstar all the way..!!!
All these, along with a sensational soundtrack by Hans Zimmer/ James Newton, make TDK a perfect must-watch. Kudos Christopher Nolan..! Am yet to watch ‘the prestige’ and ‘insomnia’..shall update this post once am done with those…