DARK KNIGHT NARRATIVE
The film opens with an aerial shot of Gotham City which rapidly draws closer to the window of an
enormous skyscraper which suddenly explodes in a shower of glass. In the subsequent shots, the
Joker‟s henchmen prepare to stage an audacious bank heist.
THE PARKING GARAGE
An aerial shot of Gotham City at night, a column of light flickers reaches for the night sky. The Bat
Signal.Nolan cuts to a parking garage where a group of men emerge from an SUV. What ensues is a
confusing scene as multiple vigilantes dresses as Batman confront the criminals.
THE CRIME SCENE
Batman meets Gordon at the bank crime scene. They talk about how someone is hitting Mob banks
but leaving behind the marked bills. Batman does not take the threat of the Joker seriously. He is
more concerned with taking down the Mob.
NOT SLEEPING IN THE PENTHOUSE
The following morning, Bruce Wayne is tending to the wounds he sustained the previous evening.
The exchange of dialogue between Bruce and his butler Alfred is significant. Alfred show real
concern for Bruce and the strain he is placing on himself. Alfred warns Bruce to „know‟ his limits.
They also talk about the new district attorney
SORRY I’M LATE, FOLKS
After the scene establishing the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Alfred, Nolan cuts to a
courtroom where Rachel Dawes waits patiently, looking to her right at Mob boss Salvatore Maroni
who rocks back and forth impatiently in his chair. This scene is principally used to establish the
character of District Attorney Harvey Dent who is late for this trial. When he does show up the
witness tries to shot him with a carbon fibre gun.
GOTHAM’S WHITE KNIGHT
Dent and Gordan meet in a boardroom and discuss the recent plan to try and bring down the mob.
Dent is argry that he has been left out of the loop. He asks to meet Batman and discuss the plan for
taking down the mob. Gordon and Dent also talk about the corruption in the police force.
Lau makes a presentation to the Wayne Foundation boar. At the end Lucius Fox stands up and says,
“Well, Mr. Lau…I speak for the rest of the board…and Mr. Wayne, in expressing our own excitement.”
At this point, Nolan cuts to a shot of the board, pulling focus as the board members turn their heads
towards Bruce Wayne who is slouched in a chair asleep. Coleman Reese (Joshua Harto) confronts
Lucius Fox about the irresponsibility of his employer: “Sir, I know that Mr. Wayne is curious about how
his trust fund gets replenished but, frankly, this is embarrassing.” Fox confront Bruce about the board
meeting and how Luau is rumoured to be dodgy. Bruce admits that he wanted the deal to get “a
closer look at their books.” Bruce also asks Fox to make him another suit.
In the following scene, Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent meet for the first time. During the conversation
Dent asserts that the people of Gotham appointed Batman when they let “scum take control” of the
city.Bruce offers to host a fund raiser for Dent
A MAGIC TRICK
In this scene the Joker and the Mob meet for the first time. The Joker offers to solve the problem of
the Batman.During this scene, parallel editing is used to show two events happening at the same
time. When Lau is explaining he had to move the money to a more secure location, Nolan cuts to a
montage of shots as police officers – including Gordon and Ramirez – storm the Bank of Gotham. As
they enter the bank, Nolan cuts back to Lau who continues explaining why they would have to move
This scene begins with an aerial shot of Gotham City at night. The Bat Signal reaches towards the
clouds. Dent and Gordon meet and discuss the issue of Lau who has fled to Hong Kong but the real
reson behind the meeting is for Dent to meet Batman. Dent asks Batman to get Lau back on
SHOULD DO FINE AGAINST CATS
Bruce and Foxmeet to discuss plan for getting Lau and the new suit the Fox has designed for
Batman. After the scene during which Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne discuss the skyhook, Nolan cuts
to a scene with Alfred and Wayne finalising the plans. “Did you think of an alibi?” Bruce asks his
butler. “Oh yes,” Alfred replies. Nolan cuts to a shot of Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent, dressed in
formal attire prepared for the ballet. There is a large sign plastered across the front of the building:
PERFORMANCE CANCELLED. As Batman prepares to capture Lau, Nolan cuts to Gambol receiving
news that The Joker is dead. Men have brought a body bag supposedly with the Joker in it. The Joker
springs to life. and seizes Gambol and holds a hunting knife to his mouth. We heard the first story of
how the Joker got his scars
The scene opens with an aerial shot of Hong Kong. A helicopter flies into frame. Nolan cuts to a
tighter shot of a roof as Lucius Fox walks off the helipad and is greeted by one of Lau‟s men:
“Welcome to Hong Kong, Mr. Fox. Mr. Lau regrets he is unable to greet you in person today.” In the
next shot, Lucius checks into security. Shortly after that, he is seated on a balcony meeting with Lau
and tells him the Wayne Enterprises will not be doing business with him. Fox leaves behind his mobile
phone. We cut toan aerial shot of Batman standing high above the Hong Kong skyline. We see
Batman capture Lau and the scene ends with Lau outside the police station with a large piece of
paper taped to his chest which reads, “Please Deliver To – LIEUTENANT GORDON.”
STRIKING A DEAL
This scene largely consists of dialogue as Rachel Dawes attempts to strike a deal with Lau to bring
charges against organised crime in Gotham City. A deal is made where Lau will provide them with
information to get the mob. After the scene ends, Nolan cuts to a midshot of one of The Chechin as
he says, “Put word out. We hire the clown. He was right. We have to fix real problem. Batman.” At that
moment, Nolan cuts to a midshotof Gordon as he enters the room. The camera tilts down to show a
stream of uniformed police officers entering the building and we see a montage of the mob being
arrested, taken into custody and finally ending up in court. The judge finds a Joker card in her files.
WE DON’T HAVE TO BE AFRAID OF SCUM
There is a discussion between Dent and the Mayor Anthony Garcia where they talk about what has
happened in the court house. It is interrupted as the body of a masked vigilante, who has been
imitating Batman slams against the office window.. Nolan cuts to several midshots of uniformed police
officers and Lieutenant Gordon as the body is lowered to the street. A close-up reveals that it is one of
the men who attempted to aid Batman at the beginning of the film. An extreme close-up shows a
Joker card pinned to the front of his suit which reads, “WILL THE REAL BATMAN PLEASE STAND
Thereis subsequent news story, which shows footage of The Joker taunting his victim shortly before
I BELIEVE IN HARVEY DENT
During the fund raising party for Harvey Dent, Bruce Wayne enters and makes a speech in honour of
the district attorney and what he has achieved: This scene is intercut with scenes of the police taking
the Judge into protective custody, and the Mayor being poisoned. The Joker gate-crashes the party
and we hear the second scar story. Batman rushes in and saves the day but the Joker gets away.
After the murder of Commissioner Loeb and Judge Surrillo, Harvey Dent returns to ensure that Lau
will testify in open court. Bruce Wayne and Alfred discuss The Joker.
FINGERPRINTS FROM A SHATTERED BULLET
At the beginning of this scene, diegetic sound is used to convey that Batman is listening to a police
scanner. An aerial shot of Gotham City dollies in towards Batman standing on top of a skyscraper.
The soundtrack is filled with the garbled sound of police radios. As the camera draws closer to The
Batman, the audience notices that he is standing with one hand on his ear, listening to the voices.
One voice rises above the cacophony: “…you‟ll find Harvey Dent there.” Nolan cuts to a street where
Gordon and a group of uniformed police officers emerge from a police cruiser. Cutting to an interior
shot of the building, Gordon kicks open a door. The discovery of two bodies, extreme close-ups
showing their identification, identifies the next two victims of The Joker‟s rampage: Harvey Dent and
Nolan uses a montage to show the process of Bruce Wayne and Alfred attempting to find fingerprints
from a shattered bullet at the scene: first, the audience sees a series of shots as Alfred loads bullets
into a cartridge, firing them into several pieces of concrete; Nolan then cuts to a close-up as a
mechanical device scans one of the bricks; another shot shows a computer monitor analysing the
shattered bullet. This sequence of shots takes a complex procedure and condenses it into a few
seconds of screen time.
Coleman Reece confronts Fox about the real identity of the Batman. After an unsuccessful attempt to
blackmail his employer, the audience is left uncertain of what Reece will do next.
This scene opens with an aerial shot of Gotham City during the day. A parade of police officers
marches down the street. Nolan cuts to the temporary Bat Cave where Alfred and Wayne trace the
fingerprint which will lead Wayne to an apartment building above the memorial parade. Nolan cuts
several times to shots of the parade showing uniformed police officers marching through the street. To
build tension, Nolan cuts back to Bruce Wayne as his motorcycle speeds dangerously through
congested city streets.
The camera tracks Bruce Wayne as he approaches the door to the apartment. A point-of-view shot
shows the apartment number: 1502. As Mayor Garcia begins his speech, Nolan cuts to several shots
of the crowd. Bruce enters the apartment and finds several men bound and gagged. It is the
policeBruce approaches the apartment window, the blind whips open, Nolan cuts to the snipers who
spin towards the window and fire, momentarily distracted. As the bullets ricochet through the
apartment, Nolan cuts to a shot of the honour brigade, revealing The Joker in a police uniform. The
entire honour guard spins simultaneously towards the Mayor. In a rapid sequence of shots, Gordon
tackles the major to the ground, the men fire and Gordon is shot in the back. Harvey Dent approaches
one of the ambulances and interrogating the captured henchman. He ends up kidnapping him as he
realises that there is a threat to Rachel. We see Gordon‟s family finding out he is dead. As Batman
searches for The Joker, Dent is concerned that Rachel is going to be The Joker‟s next target. Cutting
back to police headquarters, Nolan shows a telephone conversation between Rachel and Harvey.
Meanwhile, Batman is interrogating Maroni which leds him to where Dent is with the henchman.
Batman stops Dent and asks him to call a press conference for the next day.
Bruce and Rachel talk in the penthouse. They talk about how they cannot be together while Bruce is
Batman. In the next scene we see Alfred and Bruce „packing up‟ the „Bat Cave‟
THE PRESS CONFERENCE
At the press conference Dent declares that he is the batman and is arrested. Rachel, watching in the
Penthouse is very disappointed the Bruce did not confess. Alfred explains why Bruce didn‟t turn
himself in. Rachel gives Alfred a letter she has written for Bruce. We then seen Rachel talking to Dent
and he gives her his lucky coin. There is then an extended action sequence as the police try to take
Dent to jail and they are pursued by the Joker and Batman. In the end the Joker is caught and we
learn that Gordon is still alive
YOU’LL HAVE TO CHOOSE
With The Joker in police custody, one of the officers goes through his possessions, laying out a
sinister collection of knives on a table. Another henchman is thrown into the holding cell. He is
doubled over, clutching his stomach. The conversation between The Joker and Commissioner Gordon
is used to establish an important event in the narrative: the abduction of Harvey Dent and Rachel
Dawes.As Gordon leaves the interrogation room, lighting is used to reveal the presence of Batman
who continues the interrogation. As the scene progresses, parallel editing is used to show four things
occurring at once: The Joker baiting Detective Stephens, Batman speeding towards the warehouse,
Harvey Dent and Rachel trying to escape their restraints. In the end Rachel is killed as the Joker lied
about who was where and Batman is sent to Dent. Back in the police station a bomb is exploded and
the Joker escapes with Lau – his plan all along. After Rachel death, Alfred reads the letter he was
given and chooses not to give it to Bruce. Bruce and Alfred talk about the Joker and how Alfred
solved the problem in Burma – burning down the forrest.
We cut to see Dent in hospital with Gordon. In a brief cutaway to a news broadcast, Nolan picks up
the continuing storyline of Coleman Reece who is going to reveal the identity of Batman live on TV.
A BETTER CLASS OF CRIMINAL
The sequence begins with a conversation between The Joker and The Chechen as the joker shows
that he has Lau and burns his share of the money. During this scene, Nolan cuts back and forth
between The Joker and the television interview with Coleman Reece. At one point the Joker rings the
news story and says that if Reece is not killed in the next hour he will blow up a hospital. Gordon and
Bruce Wayne attempt to save Coleman Reece. The Joker pays a visit to Dent/Two Face in hospital.
The Joker blows up the hospital and jumps onto a bus fill of people.
CONSIDER THIS MY RESIGNATION
The Joker reveals his evil plan to get the people of Gotham involved in his „game‟ and warns them
that this city is his and they should leave„Come nightfall, this city is mine. And anyone left here plays
by my rules. If you don „twanna be in the game, get out now. Get out now. But the bridge-and-tunnel
crowd are sure in for a surprise. Ha-ha, ha-ha.” At the same time, Bruce Wayne reveals that he has
had the entire R&D team working on a new sonar system based on the device that Fox created,
allowing them to survey the entire city. Fox does not like this and offers his resignation
CAN’T HURT YOUR CHANCES…
Continuing to avenge Rachel‟s death, Two Face confronts Moroni and shoots him. He has already
killed one policeman in a bar. We then cut to the scene on the ferries where two ferries have to
decide if they are going to blow each other up. Batman, using his sonar device locates the Joker and
rushes to confront him Ramirez calls Barbara Gordon and implores her to head to a secret location.
This event sets up the final confrontation between Two Face and Batman.
After an altercation with Gordon who insists they have to take out the masked gunmen standing in the
windows of Prewitt Building, Batman leaps off the building and wrestles one of the men to the ground.
The eyes of Batman‟s suit suddenly become illuminated as he says, “Fox I need picture.” After a brief
cutaway to Gordon who receives a desperate call from his wife, Nolan cuts to a midshot of Lucius
studying the screens. Batman attempts to rescue the hostages and capture The Joker, Gordon
receives a desperate call from his wife who has been captured by Two Face and the prisoners on the
boat vote on whether they will use the detonators. Nolan cuts between each of these different
storyline to engage the audience.
AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE MEETS AN
Batman and The Joker confront each other in the abandoned building.
This storyline in the narrative is resolved with a sustained shot of The Joker hanging helplessly. Nolan
cuts between The Joker and close-ups of the SWAT team with their guns trained on him.
THE WORLD IS CRUEL
The resolution of the storyline involving Harvey “Two Face” Dent and his quest for revenge is largely
resolved through dialogue as the deranged former District Attorney taunts Commissioner Gordon,
threatening to kill his family in the final scene of the film. Batman arrives in time to save the day but
Dent is killed. Batman decides to take the fall for Harvey Dent‟s crimes. He runs and is pursued by the
police Nolan cuts back to a shot of Alfred burning Rachel‟s letter, to Lucius Fox as he types in his
name and destroys the sonar device, and forward in time to Commissioner Gordon delivering Harvey
Dent‟s eulogy. This use of editing allows each of the storylines in the narrative to be resolved.