Dark Knight – different kinds of crazy

We got our DVD of Dark Knight yesterday and it was just as wild watching it again as it was in the theater.

It’s fantastic in so many ways and on so many levels, but what hits the mark with me – the most – is the way Joker was portrayed and the life Heath Ledger (R.I.P.) gave to the character.

Watching it again last night inspired me to write about the different kinds of “crazy.”  I’m not talking clinically – there are plenty of books on that already, and besides, I’m not a doctor.  I’ve just lived through and with it enough that I feel I have a leg to stand on in the matter.  And here, I’m just going to touch on a little bit of it, what was brought out in three scenes of the movie.


The first scene is where Joker meets the mobsters for the first time.  There is a part where someone says, “You’re crazy!”.  He looks at the man with dead serious eyes, almost angry, and says, “I’m not.  No, I’m not.”

Here, we’ve got someone who has several marbles rolling around but is in denial.  Imagine being someone like him, with all these delusions of “watching the world burn” and being an agent of chaos, but with the high intelligence to pull it off.  How many times in his lifetime do you think people told him he’s crazy?  How many times has he been in an asylum, doped up because he’s diagnosed as schizophrenic?  When everyone thinks you’re crazy, nobody will consider your ideas or respect your way of thinking.  And that must be very frustrating.

Let me use Robin as an example.  When she was on medication but still able to work, she would have a legitimate issue with something or someone at work, but no one would take her seriously.  More than once, I’d talk to her supervisor and he/she would say, “Oh Robin is just having another one of her episodes.”  After looking into it, however, I knew better.  Her complaints were rational and accurate, but she was being prejudiced due to her illness.

Robin, of course, understands that she does have a problem and accepts it.  But Joker is a different type.  He believes that he’s got it all figured out but everyone else is too inferior to understand it, and they therefore deem him crazy.  There is logic to that because it can and has happened throughout history.  People have been considered insane for having new or radical ideas, and we look back on them later and see them as geniuses ahead of their time.  More times than not, though, these people are just crazy.

That leads me to the second scene:  Jumping to the end where Joker’s social experiment didn’t go as planned, it was interesting to watch his face as his world started to crack apart.  He was so confident in his delusions that he couldn’t grasp the reality when it hit him.  Batman throwing it in his face didn’t help.  I’ve read elsewhere that some people didn’t feel the ferry scenes were necessary, but I find them imperative to Joker’s realization that, well, maybe the mobsters were right.  But of course, it didn’t last long.  Since he couldn’t cope with the results, he excused it by blaming the world for being “funny.”  Then he went to his safe mode by changing his train of thought, asking Batman, “You know how I got these scars?”

The third scene is in the video left with the corpse of the Batman wannabe.  He smiled at the camera and said, “You see, this is how crazy Batman’s made Gotham!”  But wait, you might think, this contradicts his hatred for being called “crazy.”

Nope.  Even a clinically insane person knows the difference between being called crazy – as in being written off disrespectfully – and simply being crazy – as in jovial or silly, crazy cool.  It’s okay to call yourself or those around you crazy when you’re just having a good time (and he was clearly restraining a laughing fit when he said that on the video, just before he started talking business again).  But don’t let anyone say you’re crazy in a serious manner… when you’re also trying to be serious.  It takes on an entirely different tone, then, and you’re just going to piss off the crazy person (Why so serious?).

There are so many other subjects on insanity that can be discussed, including those who really do think it’s cool to be crazy (the serious kind), but I’ll leave it at this for now.  I hope I made some sense.

One Response to “Dark Knight – different kinds of crazy”

  1. nice review.

    i saw this film 4 times and still dont have the dvd yet. i must admit to being a bit of a joker fan. Not sure how that rates on my little inner sanity test but oh well. I like heaths performance, but i was a little dissapointed by a few things.

    First of all i was a bit dismayed at the lack of umm class to the jokers outward appearnce. to me the joker is just as suave as batman/bruce wayne. Thats what makes him such a great foil to batman.

    Secondly he didnt laugh as much as i would of liked. oh he did laugh at times and it was sinister enough but to me it just wasnt enough. just me personally i guess.

    as far as christian bale as batman well i still enjoy michael keaton as a “bettrer batman”. i think that keaton is darker than bale is and well when bale talks angrily i could swear he spits words.

    overall it was an great movie, although i liked ironman better, and i loved it. otherwise i wouldnt of never seen it 4 times, lol.

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