Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Why So Serious?
Movies have the ability to live on in the memories of their audience by way of great dialogues. Great performances and great music always help, but through what medium does a guy communicate to a friend how good the movie he saw last Friday was? He certainly has no musicians jumping out of the closet to accompany him (remember "Jaane ke jaane na" from the Salman-Akshay Kumar-Priety Zinta starrer "Jaan-E-Mann") and perhaps never made it to the school's annual theatre festival either. His only saviour is the dialogues that should have emblazoned themselves in his memory.
Hindi films have always done well on this count; be it the 1970's when the Salim-Javed duo worked with great gusto (and dialogue-wise, things almost came to an orgasmic climax in "Sholay") or the modern-day Raj cavorting around with Simran in Switzerland and saying "Koi baat nahi Senorita, bade-bade deshon mein aisi chhoti-chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain".
I am not going into Hollywood classics here, they've always been brilliant ("Here's looking at you, kid" or "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"). Of course, Arnold's "Terminator" act did brilliantly to become one of the most popular dialogues of all-time, just by telling the world "I'll be back."
The one recent movie which I believe has done this brilliantly (even better than it's predecessor in this series) is "The Dark Knight". Full marks to the Nolan brothers and, of course, Heath Ledger to bring these dialogues to the screen memorably.
A few of my favourite quotes from the film:
Joker: You see,madness,as you know,is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!
Joker: Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon's got plans. You know, they're schemers. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. So, when I say that you and your girlfriend was nothing personal, you know that I'm telling the truth. It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and look where that got you. I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
[Joker hands Two-Face a gun and points it at himself]
Joker: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair.
Batman: Then why do you want to kill me?
Joker: [laughs] I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, you... you complete me.
Joker: This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
(one of my favorites which does NOT include either Batman or The Joker)
[Wayne Enterprises accountant Coleman Reese believes that he's discovered Batman's secret identity, and is trying to blackmail Fox]
Lucius Fox: Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck.