The Joker And Bane: Unplugged

The beauty of art has reached dizzying heights in recent times. The consequence of which is that our generation has been privy to some technologically sound, creatively satisfying cinema. One such cinematic marvel was the Batman Trilogy.

The second one in the series, The Dark Knight, featured an astonishingly brilliant talent. That this wasn’t discovered earlier was only worrisome. Heath Ledger. A seemingly innocuous name for what should have been, what was predicted to be, the next Hollywood Hotshot. But that was not to be. A death so senseless, it rendered his fans the world over, speechless. With no one to blame but him, his fans tried very hard to take it in their stride. Of course, this consequently led to his absence in the next of the series, The Dark Knight Rises.

A new plot, a new era, a new mindset of fans led to the inclusion of a villain called, Bane. Fans still harbouring fresh surge of emotions for The Joker played by Heath Ledger, saw this as an encroachment on their territory. With feelings so extreme, comparisons between the two villains were inevitable.

Bane, played by Tom Hardy had the portrayal of a nihilistic nature down pat. Unperturbed by owning an army or belonging to a group, he was very clear about the righteousness of his path. Assuming zero responsibility for them or their welfare, he was doubtlessly the most self-centred villains in recent cinema. His cannibalistic nature was daunting. It made you doubt the sincerity of his actions and beliefs. He was not hesitant about sacrificing one of his own. He was ruthlessly unrepentant, which only served to make his quest flawless. This flawless objectivity though, turned the movie into standard superhero warfare. The movie became a chronologically ordered craft that did not deviate from its path. It was a directed creation, painstakingly so, offering no surprises to its creatively famished viewers.

In The Dark Knight on the other hand, The Joker with his makeup, clothes, body language and antics left you spell-bound. He was the quintessential bogeyman, someone that we feared hid under our beds at night in our childhoods. He kept you terrified long after the movie was over. As for the movie itself, he turns it into a psychological drama, a thriller waiting to unfold. He was turbulently unpredictable, keeping you glued to the edge of your seat. A remorseless madman, his reasons for choosing his actions bordered on his philosophical ideologies. Philosophy, deep rooted in an unbound, black sorrow that The Joker suffered, making us believe that he had seen things that no one should be subjected to. Of course, one can only speculate since the cause of his scars, both emotional and physical remains a mystery till the end.

Hence, for psychological bunnies like me, who feed on theories of Freud, Jung and Maslow, the Joker remains to be one of the most fascinating characters our art ever produced. His untimely death shrouds him even more in mystery.

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