Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

THE DARK KNIGHT ESSAY
From A Female's Perspective

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
ACTorTOP 100 ACTORS of all-time
SEE THE LIST. Reviews!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!

SEE DARK KNIGHT PHOTOS
Aaron Eckhart
Action Figures
Action Scene
Actors
Actress
Ad Campaign
Album Cover
Alfred
Animated Series
Anne Hathaway
Anthony Michael Hall
Arkham City
Armor
Art
Background
Bad Guy
Bane
Bank Robbery
Batarang
Batcave
Batman
Batmobile
Batpod
Batsuit
Behind the Scenes
Biker Suit
Birthday Cake
Blu Ray Cover
Boat
Bruce Wayne
Butler
Cape
Car
Cartoon
Cast
Catwoman
Christopher Nolan
Cillian Murphy
Cinematographer
City
Clothing
Clown Mask
Coloring Pages
Comic
Commisioner Gordon
Concept Art
Costume
Cowl
David Finch
Dog
Dopey
Drawing
Drew Maxwell
DVD Cover
Emblem
Empire Magazine
Frank Miller
Funny
Gadgets
Gary Oldman
George W Bush
Gloves
Got Milk
Gotham City
Graphic Novel
Halloween Costume
Harley Quiin
Harvey Dent
Harvey Dent for DA
Heath Ledger
Hospital Explosion
Hugo Strange
Joker and Batman
Joker Concept Art
Joker Costume
Joker Face
Joker Poster
Joker Wallpaper
Katie Holmes
Lamborghini
Lego
Logo
Lucius Fox
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Mask
Merchandise
Michael Caine
Morgan Freeman
Motorcycle
Movie Poster
Movie Still
Mr. Lau
Mr. Reese
Natascha
Newspaper
Premiere
Prison
Rachel Dawes
Robbery
Salvatore Maroni
Screenshot
Slot Machine
Storyboard
Symbol
Tattoos
The Joker
Two Face
Unicorn
Utility Belt
Video Game
Wallpaper
Weapons
Why So Serious
William Fichtner
WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES!
wildcardWATCH - BEAUTIFUL short film!
wildcardWATCH - NOSTALGIA short film!
wildcardWATCH - EMBEDDED short film!
wildcardWATCH - YARDSALE short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE AUDITION short film!
wildcardWATCH - THE ADDICT short film!
wildcardWATCH - 48 short film!
wildcardWATCH - DIM SUM OF ITS PARTS short film!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIE PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of film!
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX PAGES
WATCH and SEE the best of sex pages online!
NAKED SCENESWATCH the TOP 100 SEX VIDEOS on the NET!
SEE the best of sex online!!
WATCH MOVIESWATCH Today's MOVIES
Best of NEW films on the NET!
TOP 100 MOVIESTOP 100 MOVIES of ALL-TIME
See the best of film!
DIRECTORTOP 100 DIRECTORS of ALL-TIME
SEE THE LIST. Reviews, Photos and Scenes!
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCRIPTS
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!

Read the Comments on this article



THE DARK KNIGHT
Essay on the Film - SPOILER ALERT!
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart
by Jen Frankel


Pandering to the Bat-Fans
Why "Common Wisdom" Leaves A Lot of Fans Oiut In the Cold

Please if you are a fan (or just someone who may still see the film) do NOT read this essay if you have any intention of seeing The Dark Knight. At least, not yet. Come back to it when you've watched, and formed your own opinions. In other words this is a MAJOR spoiler alert, and shall not be repeated, so continue at your own risk.

It's been a couple of years since I went in costume to a movie premiere not that I wouldn't in an instant again if the mood took me.

Looking around at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight, it was obvious that my contribution was not necessary. There were a few terrific Jokers, both classic and Ledger-inspired, a Poison Ivy and Catwoman duo, a freaky Scarecrow, and, best of all, a couple that showed up straight out of the Batman animated series as Joker and a brilliant Harley Quinn, his deranged imp of a henchwoman.

What also struck me was that the excitement and anticipation for the lights coming down was not only the most palpable I've ever been party to, but that it was equally spread between the sexes. The true-geek banter and dissection, not to mention the predictions, came from women, men, girls, boys, with absolutely no regard to the stereotype that comic book fandom is restricted to adolescent males.

So what can you take from the fact that, short of a girlfriend and a cop, the women in The Dark Knight were completely absent outside of the usual (and thinly spread) mothers, daughters, and dates? Has Hollywood still not grasped that women love these flicks as much as guys do, wait for them with bated (if not batted) breath, and are not only willing to line up for hours for a good seat, but also to go to the cinema in full-on fan regalia? Read the Comments on this article

Who should play THE RIDDLER in the next BATMAN?
Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
First Name*
E-mail Address
Who should play THE RIDDLER in the next BATMAN?
Johnny Depp
Edward Norton
Daniel Day-Lewis
Viggo Mortensen
Kevin Spacey
Clive Owen
Jim Carrey
Brad Pitt
OTHER:
COMMENTS on POLL QUESTION (to be talked about during Daily PODCAST):
The Dark Knight is largely a terrific film, and a complex one. Again, I can't help feeling that Nolan has bitten off more plot and theme than he can comfortably chew, even in his marathon 2 hour treatment of this next chapter of the new franchise.

I also can't help thinking that he may have lost sight of the franchise itself, which has to plant its threads carefully in the current installment in order to heighten as much as possible the next.

So what was missed, what was piled a little too high, and what ignored the chick-demographic entirely?

Much as I love both Morgan Freeman (not just because of my sentimental attachment to The Electric Company...) and the character of Lucius Fox, that was one plot arc that seemed utterly gratuitous, and more a function of wanting to introduce, then deep-six a too-powerful technology than a legitimate contribution to the established themes. It's a device most often used with villains in comic book films for fear of setting up powerful enemies that need to be mentioned in subsequent installments, the idea is usually to stick to the origin/escalation/defeat and death mode.

But the subtext of the Fox/Wayne relationship is such a big elephant I wish it had been saved for another film. The theme here is what lines will Batman cross, and which of his friends will it cost him? As the first film was all about how Bruce Wayne could possibly overcome his own fears (and becoming the Batman was the answer, fortunately for us...) the second was really about whether he was strong enough to continue – and, ultimately, about whether he could find the belief that humanity was worth saving.helpimage

That second pair of themes was enough already, without having him stripped of one of his greatest allies after losing both the love of his life and the impunity to operate under the general good opinion of Gotham citizens. Batman doesn't cross his own line – but everyone will forever believe he has, and he must force himself not to care.

Which brings me to the biggest problem with the film, and what I've alluded to, the poorly disguised theme of this essay.

Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel Dawes is a breath of both fresh air and sense, at last, in a comic book adapted film. Not that Gwyneth Paltrow's recent Pepper Potts was not also a step up from the general grotesque ineffectiveness and shallowness of movie "heroines" (dubbed that because they're female, not because they're heroic, and I think mostly to make some pretense of appealing to women and avoiding this very criticism).

But somehow, the major arc that began in the film as a real relationship between two men and a woman became the story of two men in love, with the object of their affection fading further and further into the abyss of either the cutting room floor or overlooked even initially in Nolan's script.

When the Rachel Dawes arc abruptly ends, we've had neither a scene of her kidnapping, or a funeral. For a death that is supposed to shake Bruce Wayne – and Harvey Dent to their cores, Rachel herself is given almost no weight, and ceases to exists as anything more than a vaguely idealized afterthought. I must say, I can only pray there is some move to resurrect her as the mysterious socialite Selina Kyle, the eventual Catwoman, because otherwise, it's a waste.

There are immensely powerful stories weaving here, Bruce Wayne's, Harvey Dent's, the Joker's, and Gordon's. The fact that Rachel's is lost in the shuffle may just be a function of too much to do in too little time, but I can't help attributing it to the general blindness of film to solid, meaningful female arcs. Even with an intelligent, powerhouse performer like Gyllenhaal, the part refuses to stay fully formed from beginning to end.

The second problem is deeper, and far more an example of the kind of chronic problem most film has, but especially films that walk the line between appealing to fans and to the general public far closer to common wisdom of what mass psychology demands.helpimage

Everyone who knows anything about Batman knows Commissioner Gordon has a daughter. She's one of the most important people in the Batman cannon, in fact. Barbara Gordon (not the wife, who according to this film apparently shares the name, but the daughter) is – or will be Batgirl. And it doesn't stop there. When Barbara become crippled, she takes on a new name, Oracle, and continues, much as the original Robin grows up to become Nightwing. Her storyline is not only rich, but inextricably intertwined with that of both Bruce Wayne and the Batman.

So why, instead of Gordon's daughter, do we instead have a subplot about the relationship between the cop and his SON? Yes, the young Barbara (too young, potentially, to become Batgirl in my lifetime) does eventually make a mute and unnamed appearance. But the focus is on a button-nosed blond boy who not only doesn't look like he could ever have been the progeny of Gordon and his wife but seems to have been deliberately placed merely for manipulative emotional impact.

It's the baby carriage in Battleship Potempkin all over again.

Someone suggested to me that perhaps we have a stronger, and simpler, reaction to cute little blond boys, that putting a girl in harm's way would have a sexual overtone that would have muddied the waters somehow, as if the Joker's gun to the head must necessarily become a Freudian symbol. Or, perhaps, that it's a kind of wish fulfillment on the part of a creator who would have liked his own dad to care so much, or that we have to appeal more to men than women just because. Just because.helpimage

It's really all bullshit. It was a mistake, a miscalculation of the sophistication and sympathies of the general public, and an elbow in the face of the fans. Here's the real problem the opportunity to weave an important thread into the mythology was missed, and one of the most important bonds in the real world (fathers and daughters) was ignored in favor of something that not only made no sense but was a weaker choice.

We have a long way to go in giving female characters the same credit as the males. It still seems to be okay for every film to wrap up with a damsel in distress somehow. It doesn't happen every time, but you know when it does, the female in question is going from solid human (if she managed to start that way) to flat and stereotyped.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK of this page on www.WILDsound.ca
Re:
First Name
E-mail Address
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK of this page on www.WILDsound.ca
It's not going to be enough in the long run, not for the legions of female comic book and film fans who are just now beginning to realize their box office power. So far, they've taken what's on offer, but you know the frustration is there. The realization that all the good lines go to the guys, that the men not only kick the most ass but agonize the most over their difficult decisions, the realization that common wisdom does not include plans to make them happy.

The flattened and absent women in The Dark Knight are what keep me from being whole-hearted in my praise of what was otherwise an excellent and satisfying film. You can give me a couple of at Gordon's side at the beginning, then again just long enough to be outed as a baddie at the end when you've all but forgotten she exists, but you haven't sold me that women are part of this equation.

It's not going to remain enough for the legions of female fans, and it's not enough for me either.

SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
NEW MOVIE REVIEWSNEW MOVIE REVIEWS
Read Today's POSTED REVIEWS
MOVIE KILLSEE 1000s of PICTURES
Best of photos, images and pics
MOVIE YEARMOVIES YEAR BY YEAR
Pages from 1900 to present


Read the Comments on this article

Return from Dark Knight to home page


footer for Dark Knight page