Sunday, July 22, 2012

The End of all this Dark bullshit

No one knows yet why Holmes got loose during the screening of Dark Knight. But suppose, suppose, he was really inspired by the anarchy of Joker? The whole “dark” message of the Batman trilogy. Wouldn’t that be a fitting tribute to whatever “grey-matter” claptrap this trilogy has inspired?
This whole bullshit about the age of grey-superheroes and their nemesis has gone too far.
I have a story. There’s this boy you know… his parents get killed in front of him… and he swears to take revenge and goes to this China kinda place which teaches judo-karate with all the Zen clichés to lend it some credibility above the macho violence… and this boy comes back and beats the shit out of everyone.
Make the boy grow up to be a Mithun and you’ve got one genre which is unapologetically an escapist fantasy. But take the same story to noir Hollywood, open some of the closures and have a brooding “dark” protagonist and you get something “meaningful”.
Bullshit. I imagined I could beat the shit out of everyone before I saw my first Superman and grew out of it. That’s my grouse with comic-books being taken too seriously for their "dark" matter. They are just comic-books with the most infantile fantasies at the root. And no matter how many layers you put over it, the core remains the same. Masked caped men with superhuman powers beating shit out of bad guys.
I have another story. How Chetan Bhagat became Chetan Bhagat and unleashed a war against all the things that he writes about in his columns and changed a nation. Or the story of how Shahid Kapoor got darker and darker, darken than Van Gogh, to discover the dark side of his art. You can get Scorcese or Nolan to make the movie on this premise, and they’ll make some really good shit, but at the heart of anything they make, beneath all those simmering layers, will always lie an idiotic absurd idea.
Few years ago we were told to believe that the Joker was the ultimate grey villain and were told to believe that it was possible for a non-entity to have infinite resources to buy out everything and everyone, planting enough secret bombs all over a city to bomb a country and all that bullshit and ­moreover to have plans ahead for unending trees of chances like “If I get caught and get thrown in a prison, I will have my unending supply of men throw in a human bomb, whose cell number I will already memorize, and then I will anger one of the guards enough to go after me and then I’ll overpower him and then go to the HQ holding him as a hostage while in the meantime I would have already taken hostages…”: ­ that kind of impossible scenario plannings. Interesting thrills if one doesn’t take it all too seriously.
The Joker was a revelation from Heath Ledger for his own transformation and not because of the Joker he played because for me the Joker was always a joker. A stretched fantasy who could have been played in any manner. He could have strutted like a wrinkled tart and giggled like a lactating shrew and the grey-matter-comic-freaks would have still called it a bold uber-modern phenomenal interpretation. For me, Ledger died for a stupid cause.
To those who call comic-books genre new mythology in making, they are not. Mythologies are not simply stories. They are embedded in history and are transcriptions of oral histories of a race, exaggerated, symbolical, conflating, but still, at the core, stories of travails and triumphs of our ancestors. For example, during the Soviet repression, myths like Alpamysh were preserved in oral traditions: ­ it was the defiance of human history to a 1984esque revisionism. Comic-book stories are borrowed caricatures of these mythologies and built piece-by-piece on the sentiments of the market ­ on what sells, what doesn’t. And that market is, partly, people who know the difference between fantasy and grey and still enjoy the fun for their wonderful plots and even more brilliant illustrations. The rest of the market is that underachieving escapist trash, overgrown kids who believe there is some truth in all this grey shit, dude, and still dream of superhuman powers to change the world. I will make a general statement: people who really make a change in the world -­ the Gandhis, the Mandelas, the Luthers, the murdered activists, the real heroes - ­ don’t care a shit about these nursery fantasies. The ones who absolutely believe in the dark side of this genre, those who secretly worship the Joker and go dressed in capes to the theatre in all seriousness (I don’t have anything against those fans who dress for kicks) are the first to rush out screaming like girls when the Joker-avatar gunman unleashes Operation-Chaos-and-Mayhem.

I am glad the Batman series is getting over. I really enjoyed the movies: all the sci-fi and butt-kicking, Caine’s wonderful Alfred, ho-hummed at the serious bits and felt Oldman was wasting his talents.
Hopefully, Nolan will turn to stories which deserve his enormous talents more.
The Batman series, even the Nolan ones, should be there in the list of the most spectacular cinema, surely, but never, never, any serious cinema. It might raise interesting questions but it doesn’t matter if at the heart lies a stupid idea or an escapist fantasy.


Tangled up in blue... said...

You know, the real 'heroes' - all these generous, giving, salt-of-the-earth people who actually make things better for other people on a day to day basis are nowhere near as ambitious to want be leaders or sadly, cool enough to inspire Hollywood-mythmakers which is why we end up with these stories. Everybody makes such a big deal of the fact that Batman is a self-made hero without any real superpowers. He is also a gazillionaire with a tank for a car and other awesome weapons.

I really do enjoy reading your take on things, it's always so refreshingly unorthodox. Everyone just seemed so enamoured of these Nolan movies. I mean they're great but I wonder if people are reading way too much into them. And the Denver shooting just makes me wonder more. That they might really have meant the difference between life and death for some people.

Bland Spice said...

Hi tangled :). Long time.
You are right. The real stories of the salt-of-the-earth people are too plain boring for cinema that wants to pack a whole spectrum within two hours. Batman is just kids pretending to be adults. They would like to make you believe this shit is really Zen but it is not, just infantile and, as seen in the Denver shootout, potentially fatal if taken too seriously.

The Mediocre Me said...

Interesting Post, pertinent to all rational viewers. I had the exact questions while watching this much touted movies.

Though it is a personal opinion but I feel that this post could have been humorous. It is too serious for mass consumption and as I like to put it. Mass audience is looking for "fast food" of intellect on internet which is short, humorous, and social. Just my two bit and looking forward to more of your posts.

Nothing Spectacular said...

Why so serious, dude?
I love all the three movies. I would rather have seen them than not seen them. As for the 'Dark' stuff, to each his own. Why judge what others like or do not like?

Bland Spice said...

I get what you are saying... let me work on this in the future.