The Dark Knight’s Ending Explained: Sometimes the Truth Isn’t Good Enough

Is “The Dark Knight” Christopher Nolan’s Magic? Personally, I feel that “The Prestige” has emerged over time as a film that perhaps best encompasses the motifs of Nolan’s work (theme, narrative, and technique). But there’s no denying the impact Nolan’s Bat-buster had on the film industry in 2008, especially in all of the “Batman” series. Building on what he’d done three years earlier with “Batman Begins,” Nolan’s film cemented the modern era of Caped Crusader cinema. Gone are Tim Burton’s grotesque Expressionism or Joel Schumacher’s Day-Glo style. Batman movies can only be Very serious now.

It’s an odd legacy, as “The Dark Knight” itself is already a movie rife with wise characters – even Heath Ledger’s Joker has to be as funny as he’s terrified. When you compare it to Matt Reeves’ relentlessly gloomy “The Batman” or the sheer cheerfulness of Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Nolan’s film is almost a sprint through the series. the streets of Gotham City rather than an intense, grounded crime thriller allegory for the War on Terror.

Equally curious are the political implications of “The Dark Knight”. While Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” criticizes Israel’s response to the Munich massacre as a commentary on the War on Terror, Nolan’s Bat-flick seems much more concerned with react to the US post-9/11 military campaign than say anything about it. Nolan has long denied his Batman films have a specific political leaning, saying Rolling Stone in 2012, they were designed to “show the rifts of society, show the conflicts someone would try to untangle”, as a way to encourage the audience to form their own thoughts about these problems.

Perhaps that’s why the ending of “The Dark Knight” has long been the subject of dramatically different interpretations.

‘It’s not about money, it’s about sending a message’


“The Dark Knight” revolves around three characters, each of whom realizes the problems with the status quo in Gotham but has very different approaches to deal with them. There’s district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) who believes it only takes one person willing to fight for what’s right to change the city’s broken social system from within. There’s the Joker, a murderous criminal who believes a just and just world is one dominated by chaos and anarchy. And then there’s Bruce Wayne, aka the Masked Batman (Christian Bale), whose own philosophy lies in the interplay of those two extremes.

Unlike Gotham’s bandits and corrupt officials, Dent and Joker don’t care about money or power. Their goal is to impose their will on the city, transforming it in a way they see fit without affecting their beliefs. No one has succeeded in this. At the end of the film, Dent gave up his crusade for justice for revenge as the sadistic cop Two-Face. The Joker, on the other hand, declares him an “agent of chaos” and quips, “Do I really look like a guy with a plan?” However, his fight on Gotham is made too carefully for a guy who always insists he lives his life with no rules.

In the end, Batman is the closest to “winning” this war – a billionaire willing to bend his moral and personal code, but never to the point of transgression. He is someone whose faith pays off when Joker’s attempt to battle Gotham’s classes fails and proves himself to be a better man than Dent, even admitting Dent’s murder as a Two-Faced because of him. We feel it is the right thing to do. See the problem?

The ending we want, but not the end we need right now


When “The Dark Knight” hit theaters, The Wall Street Journal made it a “praise” for George W. Bush, comparing Christian Bale’s Batman to the 43rd president of the United States (born himself into a life of wealth and privilege, much like Bruce did). Wayne) and his military campaign in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Disagree with this reading, Traveler argues that the film is actually about “society’s desire for a scapegoat”, citing the line “You can die a hero…” and how it ends with Batman running away from home authorities, blamed Dent’s failures.

So, er, what is it?

I could argue that the point is not that “The Dark Knight” is intentionally avoiding taking a clear political stance on the War on Terror or any of the questions it raises. The problem is that it tries to be “apolitical” and, in doing so, only ends up obfuscating its own hidden content. Like it or not, all art is inherently political, and one must always be ready to consider how the public will interpret the message of their work. You may not be able to prevent people from misreading the basic text of your film (wretched or not), but refusing to engage in political views in your film is not the same as being impartial. .

Hence the dilemma of “The Dark Knight”, a movie that ends with “one percent” saving a day by acting their own way outside the law and promoting lies. lie on the truth. It is a conclusion that aims to be vague but goes beyond the mark and has a bit also open to interpretation for its sake.

Continue reading: Joker’s Wild: Ranking the movie versions of the criminal prince clown

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