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  • Writer's pictureRyan Nevin

The Dark Knight’s 10 Year Anniversary

The Dark Knight Station

On the 18th July 2008, a film was released that would change cinema forever - The Dark Knight. Not only is The Dark Knight a landmark within the history of film, it is our favourite film, here at Life of Films. It’s a movie we have watched countless times, and one we will watch countless times more. If there was ever a perfect film, The Dark Knight is it. Flawless cinematography, breathtaking acting, an unforgettable score and a story which has changed the genre it sits in, forever. This article is not a review of the film itself, but a look back on why it was so good, and is still the movie everyone compares the modern day film to.

So let’s start with the genius behind this masterpiece, Christopher Nolan himself. Nolan is an incredible director, who, for me, is proof that quality makes money. There are plenty of movies these days which make lots of money, but aren’t necessarily good, such as the Transformers franchise. We live in a world now that reboots old films, as we are scared to create something unique, as the bottom-line is more important than making something new. Nolan has always focused on creating fresh films but never let his extremely high standard slip, so now whenever Nolan is attached to a film, it makes money, because everyone now has a massive amount of trust in him and the execution of his films. The Dark Knight is true representation of this. Not only does Nolan make sure minimal CGI is used, which adds authenticity, he introduced IMAX filming into feature length films, with this technology only being used for documentaries prior. He also only works with the best, but allows them to have the freedom to do what they do best, giving the likes of Ledger and Bale a stage to show off their expertise.

Nolan The Dark Knight

Now onto the the story, but it is the overall concept of the film / trilogy that makes this film so special. The whole Dark Knight Trilogy is extremely special, for its ability to make something so ludicrous, like a man dressed up as bat, fighting crime, so real, dark and emotional. Nolan did an incredible job in not only bringing the batman to life, but making him feel as if he was real and could exist today. The Dark Knight is the epitome of this, within the trilogy. What’s great about The Dark Knight’s story is that it completely changes what it means to be a hero. That it’s not about swooping in and saving the day at the last minute, it’s about doing what is right no matter the cost, even if it makes you look bad.

The Dark Knight would never have been anywhere near as good as it was, if it didn’t have the creme dela creme of actors in Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Aaron Eckhart to name a few. The two actors who stole the show though, are none other than Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. Bale is sadly overlooked when it comes to his acting within The Dark Knight due to Ledger’s performance being to unique and like nothing we have ever seen before, but Bale’s performance, in my opinion, is on par with Heath. He plays the dual-personality of Bruce and Batman perfectly. What makes them both so great, though, is their dynamic together, especially during the Heat-inspired interrogation scene. It is acting at it’s best, and a scene I have watched many, many times.

Movie scores are incredibly important to me when it comes to films, they can almost make or break a film for me. It can completely change a scene from making it dull to incredibly emotive. Hans Zimmer is an absolute genius and the work he has done for The Dark Knight Trilogy is, without a doubt, some of his best work, with The Dark Knight being his Mona Lisa. The track ‘A Watchful Guardian’, which is played during the very last scene of The Dark Knight, is pure genius. The way it builds is captivating, and is the icing on the best scene in superhero film history.

I could talk about The Dark Knight and everything that makes it one of the best films ever, all day, but you get the gist. Nolan should be proud, he has managed to create such incredible piece of art in an industry that has become very saturated. Anyone who knows anything about film, knows that The Dark Knight is the gold standard of superhero films but it is also the epitome of film-making. It is a privilege to have been alive when this film was released and I cannot wait for it to continue making its mark on history.

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