Contrary to what you may believe, this is not about how The Dark Knight Rises was a disappointing film or how there is no major development of Bane from point A to point B during the movie. This is about how Christopher Nolan may have done the impossible, but made the foolish choice to make a follow up. The Dark Knight is one of the landmark films of my generation. It helped define the re-emergence of the “superhero” and marks one of the few points in recent cinema where the villain almost appeared as a social protagonist.
Amongst one of the many confrontations between Batman and the Joker, Heath Ledger’s character grasps a worldly fear that threatens everyone in a matter of sentences.
“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”
We live in a world of order. Someone with authority over yourself tells you what to do, and you do it. This rubs two types of people the wrong way. One: the people who feel stuck in this system, that want to break out and make a move, but are too afraid or do not have the means to do so. Two: the people who were never allowed in the system, and because of that are always fighting for a chance to prove themselves. This one line from the Joker speaks to a number of different backgrounds. Those who are in charge fear the Joker because he knows how to topple their regime. Those stuck in place want to work with the Joker because it gives them a chance to further themselves. And those who have been trampled upon their entire lives praise the Joker, because for once they are given a real opportunity at success.
When everyone has a chance, it is all fair. While the Joker’s methods were exaggerated, the message speaks beyond the film. No matter his twisted ways, he found a piece in almost all of us that wants that fair opportunity, that felt Batman was protecting those who had things given to them, that realized change might not be so bad. Christopher Nolan had accomplished close to the impossible with his perfectly imperfect villain…and he should have left it at that.
*All rights to the image above go to Warner Bros. Entertainment