Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dark Night of the Soul

I’ve lately become a fan of the comics made into movies as they often explore in great subtlety and depth the struggles humans face with good and evil, and I consistently see the quiet voice of God behind the bold dramas played out on the screen.

This review of the new Batman movie—though revealing more plot than someone who hasn’t yet seen the movie might appreciate—is just such a revelation.

An excerpt from the review at Catholic Thing.

"Evil in pure form is represented by the Joker. He not only does evil, but lives to seduce seemingly decent people into doing evil – so that they will see their goodness, and goodness in general, as an illusion. He even kills other criminals, his wickedness being so far beyond theirs that even they are relatively innocent victims. He is the ultimate utilitarian, inviting people to kill or disgrace others on the pretext that they will save more people by doing so. The scene in which he encourages each of two boatloads of people to blow up the other boat, to save themselves, is especially harrowing. The reality is that if they save themselves by doing evil, they lose, and the Joker wins. The denouement suggests, however, that maybe Gotham’s people are worth saving after all.

"The Joker is an embodiment of evil so convincing, so enigmatic, so thoroughly creepy, that it’s easy to believe that playing the role factored into Heath Ledger’s death by drug overdose. He has no known identity, no background, but infinite ingenuity and resources. At one point we think there‘s a childhood cause for his mania and facial scars – but later he gives a completely different explanation, and we realize he is merely playing with our expectations of a rational cause. He is, as is said at one point, an “agent of chaos.” For all intents and purposes, he is Satan. (Roger Ebert says Mephistopheles – I won’t argue demons with him.)

"The forces of good capable of fighting this seemingly unstoppable force are conflicted and complicated. And here we are forced to meditate on what it means to be a hero."