Friday, July 25, 2008

"Slaughter Is the Best Medicine."

As much as any filmmaker currently working in Hollywood, Christopher Nolan makes movies that practically demand that viewers talk about them afterward. It would be easy to chalk this up to clever plotting- the “backwards” structure of Memento famously compelled audiences to sort the story out for themselves. But it would be a mistake to dismiss it as mere gimmickry, as Nolan’s best films (Memento, The Prestige, and now The Dark Knight) display a surprising amount of thematic heft that keeps them lingering in the mind after the storylines have long since been sussed out. Perhaps most miraculously, Nolan at his best is able to couch his themes so naturally in their stories that the movies are almost as enjoyable for passive viewers as they are for active ones. However, this tendency also makes it impossible to discuss the themes without talking about the plots themselves, which means you’ll have to click to read the rest of this review in the interest of protecting the spoiler-phobic.

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