Tipu Sultan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Here's my previous review for The Dark Knight.
What more can I say that hasn't been said before? And what more can I feel that I haven't felt before? Honestly, a hell of a lot!
The Dark Knight is definitely the best film based on comicbooks/superheroes that has ever been made, no surprises there. It is also one of the finest gangster pictures out there and a personal favorite of mine.
The impact it had on me when I first watched it can simply be denoted as my popping of the cinematic 'red pill'. It woke me up to films!
But more than simply overwhelming me with its theatricality and appealing to me on a basic, impressionable level it managed to stay with me for years, haunting me, urging me to yearn for similar experiences to stimulate the hidden cinephile in me, and the search is still on...
Now I'm not saying that this is the best film I've ever seen. That'd be foolishness! But it is easily the most satisfying and emotionally rewarding experience I've ever had with a film.
Basically, it's just the one that I love the most.
Of course, with repeated viewings you begin to look through a film and decode the subtle hints planted throughout the narrative.
You also start paying more attention to its discrepancies. And let me tell you, they are there in The Dark Knight. However, they are so inconsequentially petty that they don't mar the effect of the film one bit.
Nolan presents the story in such incredible style and with such flourishing grandeur that you're absolutely swept off your feet watching Batman glide through the glittery Hong Kong nightsky, or gigantic establishing shots featuring fire engines that are literally turned into "fire engines"!
Coupled with Wally Pfister's extraordinary visuals are the slick dialogues that run smoother than Wayne's Lamborghini. And I'm not just talking about the Joker who gets the meatiest lines, but also the small talk, the 'between the scenes' exchanges which are so wonderfully eloquent that you're just never at rest from gorging over the film's infinite awesomeness.
Alfred: I suppose they'll lock me up as well. As your accomplice.
Bruce: Accomplice? I'm going to tell them the whole thing was your idea.
And apart from the snappy dialogue and smooth screenplay, the overall story is also a bundle of "shit-my-pants-this-is-friggin'-epic" brilliance. The way it evolves from the prequel and runs with the theme of 'redemption' as its main subplot is marvellously subtle. Despite everyone hyperventilating from the chaotic genius of the Joker, the storyline is still focused on Bruce.
In those many curt exchanges with Dent every time that the Batman made a nod towards his real life, something shattered inside me.
And finally, with that the soaring climax which is one of the greatest endings I've ever seen in a film, Nolan blasted the roof off this juggernaut.
(Something, which honestly disfavored the sequel which collapsed, to an extent, under the gargantuan expectations from the maverick director)
The music by Zimmer and Howard is exemplary. From the constant and near-silent movements that echo in the back of your head to the sudden blasts of beats, the film is basically cut to music and brilliantly so. Nolan relies on the musical cues to tell the story about as much as he does on his actors, and the effect is obviously enchanting.
Talking about that, another great asset of the film is Lee Smith's fluent editing. Those montages are a work of art, as Nolan maneuvers through multiple scenarios seamlessly blending them into one coherent stream of supreme tension and drama.
The Dark Knight is like a deviously crafted mechanism that functions with the amalgamation of various moving parts, which are all pretty impressive individually, but together they fuse into this unstoppable force that is unfazed by the presence of any immovable objects.
As everyone knows and hopefully agrees on, perhaps the strongest suit of the film is the acting. With stellar performances coming from everyone on board, it reinforces the film's basis in a real world that is teeming with corrupt cops, desperate mobsters disgruntled by a vigilante, an erratic agent of chaos unleashed upon the city, and well, just decent men in an indecent time.
Instead of ranting on about how everyone was amazing, I'll just rank my favorite performances in a descending order:
However, despite every department being at the top of their game what truly makes The Dark Knight THE DARK KNIGHT is the man himself; Christopher Nolan.
His microscopic attention to not just the grander aspects of the film but also the little fineries is astounding, matched only by his ability to juggle it all effortlessly and create one overwhelming masterpiece.
From extensively using IMAX cameras to introducing such cool concepts as the 'skyhook' and sonar, Nolan brings a fresh take which is always ahead of the curve.
There are so many things which click about the film, so many nitty-gritties that are handled dexterously by Nolan that enumerating them can fill the long wait for Interstellar, but you probably know them yourself.
The Dark Knight has been an experience of a lifetime for me and with this devastatingly breathtaking realization I feel happy and sad in equal measure.
A quote from Her comes to mind which sort of expresses what I feel after watching this film..
"Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt."
I hope I'm proved wrong and I guess I will be in time. There's a lot of great films I yet need to see and also, because our greatest cinematic accomplishments cannot be behind us.
Until then, I'll be indebted to Christopher Nolan for introducing me to the magic of cinema and giving the world this impeccable gem of a movie.