He did it. I didn't want to like him but he did it. He stole the show and he fuckin' stole the role too. It's him now. He IS The Joker. Not Jack Nicholson. But a 1979er tragic hero. to be worshipped alongside Brandon Lee and the many rockstar types who died at 27/28. Speaking of Brandon Lee, it's precisely why i didn't want to like the man named Heath Ledger. The make up is too Crow-like and the death is too untimely. I felt too obligated to make that sickening connection and I didn't want to jump on he bandwagon to sympathize with him amidst the obvious cult-potential. I told a friend at that time, that I felt nothing for Heath when he died. It's not a loss to the film world, I said. I felt then that the Ledger-guy has yet to prove himself.
Watchin' his performance as The Joker today made me want to eat my words. It was a maniacal performance. Uncompromising at many levels...and yes, maniacal. a nihilist. a bombmaker. a master manipulator who likes to play god. a showman. While Batman looks contrived as mr reluctant saint, aka, the justice soldier- gadget yuppie- wannabe-emo-outcast, Joker recklessly triumphs over with his fiercely defiant portrayal of a sick freak with nothing to loose. Reminds me of those wrestling characters who play mind games, only tighter, darker and more thought-out. And ofcoz, the luxury to bathe in the power and glory of cinema, good thing the role wasn't wasted on him.
Well done. i'm sad now knowing that I'll never see another performance from this young actor again. Why Ledger why? Meet Dean. Morrison. Cobain. Tupac. Rhoads. Vicious. Phoenix and Lee. I'm sure you all have lots to talk about. (Tzang M)