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Dent is referred to frequently as Gotham’s “White Knight,” a term used throughout the course of the film.
Many people compare Joker to other film and comic book villains but the one that I think he can be most closely associated with is Anton Chigurh from , who is a force of nature.
His origins are unclear but his actions are strongly felt by those around him (to put it mildly).
In order to keep from tearing itself to shreds, society needs to believe in the incorruptibility of good and the relative remoteness of evil. Simultaneously, it’s also made clear that, in fact, Batman never succumbs to his own dark, inner urges.
In the movie, Bruce Wayne says the line, “I’ve seen what I have to become to fight men like him,” and he rejects the path he has to take to stop Joker, a man who has no rules whatsoever.
In a similar fashion, the Joker upends the genre conventions of a villain in that he has no inhibitions and refuses to hew even to the ultra-basic moral code of criminals (see: the opening scene).
When a character has no values that you as a viewer can relate to and hold on to, the results are extremely disorienting.
In one of the more memorable scenes from the film, the two have a showdown in Gotham’s city streets, the Joker manically screaming “Hit me!
” as Batman is propelled towards him in the bat pod.
This unmoors our basic assumptions of the person’s capabilities.
All of this comes to a head in the hospital scene, when Joker gives Harvey Dent the “It’s all part of the plan” monologue, a speech that’s chilling not just for its content and delivery, but also because of its incisive commentary for us as Americans.