27 September 2010

31 Movie Days: 27

Day 27 - Best Villain

Yep, score another movie blogger going the traditional Heath Ledger Joker route. For awhile there, I was thinking of going the Darth Vader, Lord of the Sith route, but decided against that at the last second. I find Darth to be much more of a tragic figure moreso than a villain. Yeah, sure, I know I'm crazy, nonetheless...

Alright, so why the Joker? It's not just the popular choice. Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, David S. Goyer, and Heath Ledger were really onto something when they created this...thing. It's been captured before in the graphic novels, most notably Alan Moore's acclaimed THE KILLING JOKE, but on film - nope, never. See what this Joker is..well, he's a uncaged animal. A pure representation of actions without consequences, of simply making the choice of doing something, of a human being doing everything in their power to upset the establishment and cause discord and chaos. This Joker is something far, far greater than anything Jack Nicholson was able to make - perhaps a unfair statement considering the sheer differences between the two Jokers, but it's a commonly made comparison, so there it is. Nicholson's Joker, and much of the Animated Series, was really a dude who laughed a bunch, made up hilariously bad puns, and had a hard-on for Batman. Mind you, I'm not dissing those incarnations at all - nay, I'm just pointing out the differences. Here the title "the Joker" is more of a cruel ironic expression; sure, the Joker giggles and laughs at the actions made by Batman and the GCPD to stop what he's already set in motion, but this Joker is a fairly deadly serious dude. Don't frak with this clown.

The Joker is the best villain because he doesn't have some grand scheme, some finite purpose in his life. He doesn't exist to follow the Emperor and corrupt his son; he doesn't exist to exact vengeance on the people who murdered his parents or raped him as a kid, etc. The Joker exists, simple as that. The Joker does what he does because he enjoys doing it - it's fun. Frak up the world, mess with the minds of the tainted populace, just create, to use his word, "chaos." These are just a few of the many, many, many reasons why Heath Ledger and Christopher Nolan's The Joker is something so profoundly powerful and beautifully rendered.

Plus, how can one not love that voice? Inspired! Brilliant! Frakkin' nightmarish!

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