But when the Joker is on the screen, he's mesmerizing. Here's what he says to one of his hapless victims, a Gotham City mobster who's had the temerity to oppose the Joker's takeover. He's got a knife inside the guy's mouth and he's saying . . .
Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was....a drinker. And a fiend. And one night he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. Turns to me and he says "Why so serious?" Comes at me with the knife,"Why so serious?" He sticks the blade in my mouth. "Lets put a smile on that face!" And..... Why so serious?You can guess what happens next.
Why so serious indeed. Because at bottom the movie is serious and far from a mindless escape flick. In a strange and unsettling way the mayhem and wholesale destruction and killing at the hands of a guy who has no rules reminded me of the reason I protest the same thing our country is doing. Not only overtly in our merciless disregard for the rights of others in foreign policy and our murderous invasion of Iraq, but covertly in our voracious, destructive consumption, which is as without compunction as any of the Joker's evil antics. No, ultimately The Dark Knight is about us.