Monday, September 1, 2008

Clarifications About The Dark Knight

In a response to comment about an earlier blog entry, I noted the cumulative trauma that might explain why Harvey Dent went over the edge to become Two-Face:
his parents and sibling killed, love of his life killed--after she'd agreed to marry him, facial disfigurement, and extreme pain from the fire.
Since that post, I've read the "novelization" of the movie , written by former Batman writer/editor Denny O'Neil. (Click here, The Dark Knight, for a link to Amazon's webpage for the book)

The novelization provided interesting backstories for the events in the movie, and helped clarify a couple of the movie's more confusing elements. The novelization makes it clear that:
  1. The two murdered individuals with "Harvey" and "Dent" identification tags had no family relationship to Harvey Dent;
  2. The Joker intended to misdirect Batman when he revealed the locations where Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent were being held. He tells Batman that Rachel is at one address and Dent at the other location. When Gordon then asks Batman which one he was going to, Batman replies, "Dent knew the risks," and he rushes off to the location that Joker said housed Rachel.  
They have deleted this line from the movie, which is too bad because it makes the subsequent sequence much clearer. And once Batman found Dent rather than Rachel at the location, the novelization explains (page 231):
"He had expected to see Rachel, to free her and get her out of the building. To tell her he loved her and would keep her safe forever. Instead, he saw Harvey Dent lying in a black puddle, bound to a chair. Next to him were two barrels, one on its side, and a timer. Shock and horror flooded over Batman…Rachel, thought Batman. Good God, I've failed her…

1 comment:

  1. A final addendum to your list of the cumulative trauma experienced by Harvey that pushed him over the edge was the Joker's deliberate intervention at the hospital.

    The Joker arrived at Harvey's hospital bed to deliberately manipulate Harvey's psyche and push him over the edge, as the Joker confessed to Batman at the end of the movie with his "madness is like gravity - sometimes it just needs a little push" line (which was one of my favorites).