The Dark Knight Trailer AnalysisPresentation Transcript
The Dark Knight• Genre - Super Hero Action• Directed by Christopher Nolan• The Cast - Christopher Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckheart, Maaggie Gyllenhall, Morgan Freeman• Target Audience? - Teenagers/young adults/comic book fanatics/people who have seen previous batman films• Made (box office) $1,001,921,825+
Themes• The Symbology of Batman(Bruce Wayne’s powers to evil crime arerather limited. As a man, he can becorrupted, he can be killed, and ultimately,he can be defeated. As a symbol he canbecome far more, and at the end of TheDark Knight, he becomes, to society, anuncontainable force in very much thesame way the Joker was. e becomeshunted, making people believe that hecannot be controlled, that he has lost allrespect for societal norms and the rule oflaw.)
The Triumph of Evil Over Good“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”The Joker’s ability to destroy that whichDent loves and turn him to the evil thathe becomes is sad in a way that can onlybe experienced by seeing the film. But theapparent relative ease with which Jokerdoes this is what makes the Dent storylinestrike so close to home: The film makes usrealize that we, as humans are limited,and that our capacity to be good is subjectto the vagaries of fate and whatever thehell else decides to destroy what we love.
The Terrible Logic of Human Nature• What do people do when they are put in the worst of situations? What would you do if you were given the ultimate power over someone else? The movie touches upon these questions of human nature.• it’s evident when Batman gives Lucius Fox fee reign of the cell phone hackery he has perpetrated upon all of Gotham. Fox believes that one person should not have this power. People are so easily corrupted that even an initial desire to do good can ultimately lead to evil, the film seems to be saying.• We also see it at the very end, when two separate sets of people are given the ability to destroy each other. Given the lead-up to the film’s climactic action scene, it’s a little bit strange that the boat-bomb storyline ends in the way that it does: With both criminals and everyday citizens concluding that they won’t take another’s life just to preserve their own.
Beginning with a black screen andcontinuing over footage of Batman invarious states of action and repose —riding the Batpod, sitting alone in obviouspain, looking out from a tall building etc.the Joker taunts Batman: "Youve changedthings. Forever. Theres no going back. See,to them youre just a freak ... like me!“The very choice of words here isimportant. "Freak," the Joker calls him. Asjust about everybody knows, Batman is ahero. But what of the people of Gotham?
Our first shot of the Joker, a long shot of himstanding alone in the city streets as we hear thevoiceover: "Like me!“Very long shot
A huge explosion rocks a building, blowing it tosmithereens. Here, and in other explosion shotsthroughout the trailer, we see nonspecific buildings,nonspecific cars, etc. This is a very deliberate narrativechoice to give audiences the impression that there is nomethod to the Jokers madness. This is a crucial part ofLedgers portrayal. These explosions seem designed toinflict the maximum amount of damage.
A deck of Joker cards burns as Ledger gives usour first taste of the villains maniacal laugh.The laugh, has always been one of the mostterrifying aspects of the character. He issounding slightly schizophrenic and going onfor a little too long.
The camera pans past a rooftop sniper, aiming his gun ata mass of protesters walking on the street below. Weknow that rival mobs have begun fighting over Gotham.We know that they turn to the Joker, a "man they dontfully understand," to unite them. We know that violenceescalates because of Batman. This is the first taste we getthat the citizens of Gotham are turning against theirhero.
"Wadda we got?" an unnamed police man asks Gordon."Nothing," he responds. "No name. No other alias.Clothing is custom. Nothing in his pocket but knives andlint." The Joker is one of the most iconic villains of alltime. By pointing out what the Joker doesnt have, weagain see how he exists outside of societys rules. Noname. No wallet. No identification. No store-boughtclothing. No phone or money. Absolutely nothing thatcould tie him to the world at large.
Pan up on the Joker behind bars, obviously incustody. We have no idea when in the moviethis occurs, but we can reasonably assume ithappens early. He must, therefore, break out.
Shot of the Jokers knives. There appear to be toomany for one man to fit on his person.
Our first in-film look at how Nolan and team havedone the Jokers makeup. "Evening, Commissioner,"he sneers. The "realistic" makeup is chilling, Hislips and cheeks are cut horizontally to give ascarring appearance of a smile.High angle, medium close up
The Joker grabs a mans face and screams hisearly catchphrase: "Why so serious?!"Two person shot
Another explosion rocks the city.The Joker hangs dangerously outside a policecar window.
The Joker fires a bazooka into the city. A briefmoment. The Joker handles the weapon clumsily.This is because the character, at heart, is somethingof a gentleman criminal. The most "personal" wayto kill someone, after all, is by stabbing them. Thatdoesnt mean that he wont use whatevers mostreadily available and likely to cause the mostdamage.
Our first extended shot of Bruce Wayne beginsa montage. The billionaire playboy pleads withAlfred ("What would you have me do?"), andthe butlers advice is intercut with scenes ofgeneral mayhem. "You can beat the outcast,"Alfred says. "You can make the choice that noone else can face. The right choice. Gothamneeds you."
The overlay here also accomplishes twosimultaneous goals. It shows a weak Batman,questioning his very existence. Should he go onfighting crime, when doing so may actuallycause more crime? The scenes of chaos on thestreets also reinforce why Batman is indecisive— because the people of the city are turning onhim. Even Gordon joins in, busting the BatSignal with an axe.
Our first shot of Maggie Gyllenhaal as RachelDawes.She’s wearing red, could connotatelove/passion/Bruce Wayne’s feelings towards her.
Rachel knees the Joker. "A little fight in you," hesays. "I like that." Ledger smacks his lips. Itwould be terrifying enough if he just wanted tokill her, but he seems to want something more.This could be a plot point in the film.
Armed with a machine gun, the Joker walks downthe street. We see hes playing a high-stakes game ofchicken with Batman, whos racing down the alleyon his ‘Batpod’. ("Cmon! Hit me!" he taunts.)Batman veers away and crashes his bike in a viciousfall to avoid killing the Joker.
“Lets put a smile on that face!“ Last shot of the Joker, and fade.The movie title at the end is white text on a blackbackground and I think this symbolises how Batman canbe seen as a hero AND a villain.
I really liked this trailer. It kept me on theedge of my seat and was exciting,exhilarating and fast paced. I thinkLedgers Joker is one of the mostfrightening, smart and well-playedvillains ever.There are lots of explosions, weapons e.g.knives, guns etc which indicates theaction genre. Obviously Batman is the‘superhero.’