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The Dark Knight before the Dawn

The Dark Knight before the Dawn


by Gayle Plato-Besley
As I find almost all current films tedious, and overly trumped, my husband knows I will only see a few movies, and mostly out of love of him. He likes things to blow up on screen—he’s a guy.

I’ve seen a few films of late and forgot them all. But, yesterday changed everything. The Dark Knight is a masterpiece in so many ways. You know the Batman story, the tragedy around this film and Heath Ledger, but did you know that it is a revolution of Hollywood’s acknowledgement of conservatism?   Christopher Nolan, director and co-screenwriter of The Dark Knight, created a masterpiece of time and place. It will be noted for the great effects, Ledger’s near channeling of Marlon Brando in an incredible performance, but it’s the message every Republican, and Conservative must see.

National Security beats away as a drum solo every day. Each political candidate whether for POTUS or local sheriff must pick up the sticks and pound home a message. Yet, the reality is that to protect and serve, we all must face the EVIL lurking, waiting to blow us all to Hell. The Joker is the archetypical Terrorist. He is Osama bin Laden meets Hannibal Lecter, with the Insane Clown Posse and Johnny Rotten as his musical directors. Batman is forced to meet him at his level and in the end must sacrifice his standing, popularity, most of his freedom, and ultimately his control in order to chase down the Devil. As The Dark Knight  storyline clearly points out, the most EVIL soul doesn’t care about the money or the rules, he is in it just to watch the horror and feel the chaos in play.

I see a clear analogy between Batman and the President of the United States. The Dark Knight is the just executive who must do things, under cloak, and behind the scenes teetering on the edge of right and ethical, in order to capture the villain. The Dark Knight sacrifices nearly everything in the process as the Joker slips away. The story is real and the players are much more relevant that a DC Comic base can project. 

George W. Bush swooped in after 9/11, with heart, resolve, and a clear shining clarity, more an eagle than a bat, to avenge the day. Everyone rallied around him, and he was the answer. President Bush spoke and a riveted audience listened, agreed, and understood that to take down the terrorists who want us all to die, who want to wipe out any remnant of us or future path for our families, who want our time sucked into a black hole that is Muslim extremism, we must go to them. We are in it for the long haul.

Heath Ledger’s character is hugely important for right now. He turns to Batman to remind him that he too is now an outcast. To fight the EVIL, Batman will sacrifice all he was of black and white to become The Dark Knight that is needed in the process. Liberties are a luxury and freedom costs dearly.
So the fifteen year olds sitting in the front row might be more into the gadgets than the message. But I have faith. I am certain they understand that this post 9/11 era is scary and the fight is real. They do not know of a time when we did not fear the EVIL. These kids live in the Terrorist Revolution. It’s you and I who sadly see back to a time when we could tell the difference between dusk and dawn. Now it’s all twilight and the fight lurks in the shadows.

“Sometimes, truth isn’t good enough,  

Sometimes people deserve more.

Sometimes people deserve to have

their faith rewarded.”Batman in The Dark Knight



  1. Gayle-

    I saw the movie last night with my son and agree with you that it is a brilliant film. However, my question to you is, if Bush is Batman, who, given your analogy, is Dent, the DA?

  2. Hi Rex,

    You know, I thought about that. I studied a little bit of screenwriting ( every writer does it seems LOL) and I believe the Dark and White Knight idea underscored by the element of original Batman character of ‘two-face’ is both sides of the same achetype— It could be any one of a number of real people, but the overlapping, layering of the shadows of the soul, the situation, the good v. evil; I suspect it was a mirroring of character of innocence lost of the good man now forced into the role of leader.

    Or how about this— Dent is each one of us… innocence lost as we all become very two faced, injured by EVIL— also put forth in the two ferry boats story thread— GREAT WRITING in any analysis!!!

    I also appreciated the casting of the large guy as prisoner who throws out the trigger– that guy was the President in the Fiftth Element– that casting is thought about in movies of this level.

    Thanks for the comment.


  3. Except that Bush hasn’t sacrificed anything, has he? He says he sacrificed golf (a demonstrable lie), but name one thing Bush has sacrificed?

    We, the American public (or citizens of Gotham, if you will) are the ones who have sacrificed, with every right slowly eroding and every suspucious glance we cast on our neighbors. Liberty is not a luxury; it is an inalienable gift handed down by God Himself and every sacrifice of that liberty that we make is a affront, to the Almighty and to ourselves. I would rather live in the shadow of death and be free than live in the security of chains.

    If, in your analogy, Bush is Batman and bin Laden is The Joker – well, The Joker has gotten away with his crimes for approaching 7 years now, free to plan new ones, free to incite others to do so.

    And for the record, not all of us were riveted and agreed with Bush. A lot of us see Bush as Lex Luthor when Lex ran for President, to extend the comic book analogy…

    Intriguing post, though. I enjoy your writing.

    Although, I do HIGHLY object to Johnny Rotten being placed in the same catagory as ICP. There is simply no comparison to The Sex Pistols inspired anarchic vision to the idiocy of ICP.

  4. This is a stretch to say the least. First of all, the philosophical vision espoused by Heath Ledger’s Joker is the ridiculousness of a society with rules. That when pushed, people will always break their standards and therefore the only consistent way to live is without rules. The entire point of the movie is that people must not yield their standards and that they must never break that code, no matter the cost. If the film was making ANY political statement, it is that we must not give in to threats and terror but must stand resolute in protecting our ideals.

  5. Haven’t seen the film so I can’t react that far, but to the extent liberties are arrested in order to defeat evil, you make an interesting point. To the extent liberties are arrested, lies are told, and truth concealed in order to protect the political foundation upon which one stands, I think the line is drawn too far. So the argument becomes, does this Administration believe that the ends justify concealment and non-inclusiveness in the governance process because they are the only ones who know what is right?

  6. All posters with good points, and the fact that the movie evokes this type of debate, is WHY it is a masterpiece. The writing can be taken either way and seen in the context of the viewer’s own construct. Me. I see it as a gritty look at a real darkness–looming and no matter what human being tries to get in to the fight, he or she becomes intertwined. Nolan’s script doesn’t idealize any President, but the script does analyze how we get to this point of the Darkness. Law is Supreme but Man chooses to live by it or push against it. The good man believes all actions are for a better good; the evil man doesn’t care about the reason nore the implications of the time. The evil man just likes the push.

  7. lol, I was reading like 4 review blogs from people about batman:Dark Knight,

    Catholic reviewers, even Conservative reviewers, this one in particular seems to like Bush still. O_O

    This movie is awesome because everyone seems to like it, and find their own meanings out of it, lol.

    I thought it was about not giving in to threats and maintain your logical minds, while the film also is about the capital punishment, that even convicted felonies do not deserve to die. =\ ??

  8. Found a great site to watch new movies online F L Y 1 4 . c om

  9. Nolan is the director who picture.also.Leonardo. I wish to say you the truth, it was invaluable the wait.movie that Christopher

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