Nolan directed The dark knight
using numerous film techniques to portray a morally ambiguous vigilante – Batman
– who is merely human and capable of mistakes, unlike stereotypical god-like
lends itself to illustrating Batman’s character as morally unclear. Batman is
constantly seen in and surrounded by shadows, which is associated with darkness
and imperfection. Bruce Wayne’s face is normally half lit up, with the other
side in darkness. This shadow and light combination links up with the idea of
yin and yang, emphasising that one cannot have good without some bad. Batman’s
signal can also contribute to this idea of light and shadow. A spotlight shines
into the sky; however the bat symbol is only visible when a shadow is placed in
that light. Therefore, the use of light and shadow, chiaroscuro, shows one that
this hero is not the image of complete flawlessness.
Batman’s appearance obviously depicts how he is not the perfect vigilante. He
wears a black, hard-looking, very angularly shaped suit resembling the idea of
darkness. It symbolises his harsh, but brave being, and again gives one the
sense of a hero with a darker side. Therefore, one can link the dark appearance
to his inner struggles to overcome the darkness within.
the music and sound that goes along with Batman in the film is not the
stereotypical heroic soundtrack that one is familiar with, but rather further
displays why he is not the typical idea of a hero. The music accompanying
Batman is lower, rumbling and heavy; rather than being energetic and exciting.
This serious, dangerous and almost mysterious tone reveals Batman’s emotions
and character, which is dark and conflicting. It proves that, even though he is
a hero, he has his own internal struggles. The music fluctuates between a
slower, tense mood; and then becomes a rapid, powerful one to communicate the
conflict he has within. His voice as Batman is husky and threatening compared
to his alter ego, Bruce Wayne. This demonstrates Batman’s darker, flawed side;
as one feels almost frightened by the power in his voice. Therefore, the
soundtrack attests to the idea of him having a tarnished identity.
immoral nature can be shown through his actions in the film itself. He brings
himself down to the Joker’s unethical level by spying on Gotham and invading
peoples’ rights to privacy, in order to fight evil with evil. He also chooses
to not kill the Joker, risking many lives. Therefore, it is difficult to
determine whether Batman’s decisions are morally correct.
conclusion, through the film techniques of chiaroscuro, heavy soundtrack, a
dark costume, and the questionable ethical choices Batman makes, one can agree
to the moral ambiguity of this vigilante.