Christopher Nolan’s 2008 masterpiece “The Dark Knight” had similarities with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro’s “Heat.”
The year 2006 (after the release of the film “The Prestige”) was when Christopher Nolan had started looking at his projects with a more ambitious outlook. What was interesting was the fact that he wasn’t keen on over-utilizing the CGI (which he still isn’t). Even though Batman Begins became a success worldwide, Christopher Nolan wasn’t quite satisfied with his product. He knew he was worth more than just throwing money to graphic designers.
Suppose we ever want to summarize his philosophy of making films. In that case, we can watch his speech at Princeton University’s class day ceremony, which he had given in 2015. He revealed that he has an innate respect for reality and is a firm believer in achieving an ambition using the very rules of reality.
Now, when we know this, we can understand why he wanted something more to come out of his Batman films rather than just showing off some cool action sequences. He had enhanced the geography of Gotham in Batman Begins. He realized his mistake, and in The Dark Knight, he decided to base his fictional Gotham city inside the fabric of Los Angeles. Why? The answer is simple. He wanted to make Gotham look real. And if you have seen the film, you very well know that he had hit the bull’s eye.
He has spoken on multiple occasions that Michael Mann’s “Heat” had massively inspired his magnum opus. However, in the latest interview for the book titled “Nolan Variations,” he reiterated that Michael Mann’s 1995 crime epic is one of his favorite films and what influenced him the most was the fact that Mann had based his thriller in the city of Los Angeles and had confined the story within the periphery of the city. In Nolan’s eyes, it was a great “city story,” and it ultimately formed the basis of “The Dark Knight.”
Of course, when somebody talks about the film “The Dark Knight,” they have to mention Joker’s character. The same is true for Christopher Nolan, and he acknowledged in his latest interview that the supervillain was the best antagonist for his film.
Nolan went a little deeper with the subject and said that the film also explored a dreadful relationship between Joker and Gotham City. He mentioned that he had all the tools (IMAX camera) at his disposal to accurately represent his vision of the fictional city. He explained that he wanted to put Joker amidst all of this as some sort of a chaos bringer (“agent of chaos”). He wanted the audience to feel the tension of seeing someone messing with Gotham city’s very fabric.
He remarked that Mann’s “Heat” did play a big part in igniting the creative spark that he needed for the film. He added that he was inspired by the fact that Michael Mann considered the city of Los Angeles as his creative playground. Mann’s love for architecture and grandeur was also something that he deeply connected with.
The Dark Knight is arguably the best crime thriller ever made (possibly behind Godfather), if not the best film ever made. It currently holds a record IMDb rating of 9.0.
Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Joker also holds a special place in the legacy of American cinema, but I cannot talk much about him here. He deserves blogs of his own, which of course, have been written in spade loads.