Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Obligatory (& Petty) Dark Knight  Commentary

with 5 comments

Just saw the movie tonight. Been reading some reviews afterward that I avoided before, and the only thing I’m compelled to say (spoiler, for the six people who haven’t seen it yet) is—I’m amazed at how wrong people got the Batman-saving-Harvey-Dent scene. Matthew Iglesias commented that Batman “could have selfishly chosen to save the love of his life and allow his rival for her affections to die but chose not to because he thought that would be the wrong choice for the city.” But Batman did choose Rachel; it’s just that the Joker deliberately switched the two characters’ locations.

A lot of commenters pointed this out, but they all seemed to note that the Joker knew Batman would save Rachel and that’s why he mixed up the locations. This is really petty, but I think that misses the point, too. The Joker didn’t know he would choose to save Rachel. The Joker didn’t know shit—not aware of Batman’s true identity, he couldn’t know that Rachel was the love of Batman’s life. His only basis for thinking Batman cared for her was the speed with which Batman saved her at the party, which he says. But it doesn’t matter if the Joker knew whom Batman would choose or not. The true anarchic brilliance of the Joker’s move (if you can use brilliance in a completely morally neutral way) is that he didn’t need to know. It didn’t matter. By switching the addresses, whoever Batman chose to save would be the one who died. He left it open to Batman to make his choice, and insured that it would be wrong either way. [End geektastic pointless rant].

By the by: What was your favorite moment of the movie? I asked three girls this, and all got something about dialogue or plot. I asked one boy, and got “the semi-truck overturning.” I’m generally not a believer in gender differences, but this makes me curious …

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Written by Elizabeth

July 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I agree wholeheartedly. The Joker might have guessed that Batman would pick Rachel based on how quickly he would chase her, but he would assume that Batman would jump to save anyone–because he’s just that good of a guy. However, by the time he saw Batman get enraged in the interrogation room when he mentioned Rachel he knew something was going on. He didn’t know it when he abducted both. The point was to make this authority figure (and in Batman’s weird way that’s the position he was in) choose who was going to die.

    My favorite scene was that interrogation room, with the Joker mind fucking Batman left and right. Although that semi flipping over was pretty friggin’ cool.

    Kit

    July 26, 2008 at 1:57 pm

  2. My favorite scene was when he saved Rachel.

    And excellent analysis on the plot point.

    wooz

    July 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

  3. So I guess this is just a spoiler ridden blog then?…

    I think that to the Joker, Rachel represented some cross section of the general public, though she had a bit more gravity because of their apparent acquaintanceship. Being the love of Batmans life was more of a lucky guess…
    Which I guess has something to do with the scene that stuck out the most to me upon first watch.
    When Batman saves The Joker at the end. He catches him by the foot, and hoists him back up to his level. Joker explains why he loves Batman–in that upside down right side up shot. “You cant kill me because of some misguided sense of self righteousness. And I wont kill you because you’re just so much fun!” (or something like that)

    Joker’s magic trick was also pretty awesome.

    Dday

    July 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm

  4. The semi-truck flip was awwwesome. Says this girl.

    erinelizabeth

    July 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

  5. Ha, thanks Erin.

    Elizabeth

    July 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm


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Obligatory (& Petty) Dark Knight Commentary

with 5 comments

Just saw the movie tonight. Been reading some reviews afterward that I avoided before, and the only thing I’m compelled to say (spoiler, for the six people who haven’t seen it yet) is—I’m amazed at how wrong people got the Batman-saving-Harvey-Dent scene. Matthew Iglesias commented that Batman “could have selfishly chosen to save the love of his life and allow his rival for her affections to die but chose not to because he thought that would be the wrong choice for the city.” But Batman did choose Rachel; it’s just that the Joker deliberately switched the two characters’ locations.

A lot of commenters pointed this out, but they all seemed to note that the Joker knew Batman would save Rachel and that’s why he mixed up the locations. This is really petty, but I think that misses the point, too. The Joker didn’t know he would choose to save Rachel. The Joker didn’t know shit—not aware of Batman’s true identity, he couldn’t know that Rachel was the love of Batman’s life. His only basis for thinking Batman cared for her was the speed with which Batman saved her at the party, which he says. But it doesn’t matter if the Joker knew whom Batman would choose or not. The true anarchic brilliance of the Joker’s move (if you can use brilliance in a completely morally neutral way) is that he didn’t need to know. It didn’t matter. By switching the addresses, whoever Batman chose to save would be the one who died. He left it open to Batman to make his choice, and insured that it would be wrong either way. [End geektastic pointless rant].

By the by: What was your favorite moment of the movie? I asked three girls this, and all got something about dialogue or plot. I asked one boy, and got “the semi-truck overturning.” I’m generally not a believer in gender differences, but this makes me curious …

Written by Elizabeth

July 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Posted in The Best Things

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. The Joker might have guessed that Batman would pick Rachel based on how quickly he would chase her, but he would assume that Batman would jump to save anyone–because he’s just that good of a guy. However, by the time he saw Batman get enraged in the interrogation room when he mentioned Rachel he knew something was going on. He didn’t know it when he abducted both. The point was to make this authority figure (and in Batman’s weird way that’s the position he was in) choose who was going to die.

    My favorite scene was that interrogation room, with the Joker mind fucking Batman left and right. Although that semi flipping over was pretty friggin’ cool.

    Kit

    July 26, 2008 at 1:57 pm

  2. My favorite scene was when he saved Rachel.

    And excellent analysis on the plot point.

    wooz

    July 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

  3. So I guess this is just a spoiler ridden blog then?…

    I think that to the Joker, Rachel represented some cross section of the general public, though she had a bit more gravity because of their apparent acquaintanceship. Being the love of Batmans life was more of a lucky guess…
    Which I guess has something to do with the scene that stuck out the most to me upon first watch.
    When Batman saves The Joker at the end. He catches him by the foot, and hoists him back up to his level. Joker explains why he loves Batman–in that upside down right side up shot. “You cant kill me because of some misguided sense of self righteousness. And I wont kill you because you’re just so much fun!” (or something like that)

    Joker’s magic trick was also pretty awesome.

    Dday

    July 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm

  4. The semi-truck flip was awwwesome. Says this girl.

    erinelizabeth

    July 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

  5. Ha, thanks Erin.

    Elizabeth

    July 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm


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