Seldom comes a performance in cinema that ruptures and pierces the hearts of the audience. Cinema has been adorned and enriched by a number of powerful and memorable performances which have been etched in our hearts. Heath Ledger’s (born April 4, 1979, died January 22, 2008) powerful performance as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 classic superhero film, The Dark Knight was outstanding and exceedingly well scripted. Heath Ledger left no stone unturned in making the character look so real and lived in. Though Ledger, an Australian television and film actor, left for heavenly abode at a very premature age, his performance is still remembered, revered, respected and regarded among the movie buffs. Such performances are rare and come once in a blue moon. Ledger was adorned with several awards and accolades for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight which also include the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It was his penultimate performance which he had finished shooting just before his sad demise. Heath Ledger in an interview which was published in the New York Times on November 4, 2007, said, “The Dark Knight's Joker as a “psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” Indeed, the Joker had neither empathy nor any sympathy for the people as he goes on devastating the whole town to make Batman bow down. His manic and menacing laugh accompanied with cruel madness, the will to do anything evil and to destroy the whole Gotham city make the Joker even more devilish, sinister and mean. The conscienceless acts the Joker does in the movie make him one of the most dreaded characters the world of cinema has ever seen. His portrayal of the Joker in this movie which runs just above 150 minutes, made him immortal and eternal. In addition to his performance, the dialogues and the lines which have been given to him are quoted even to this day. The role of a psychopath and sociopath crossed all the limits and boundaries of humanity, kindness and compassion. He wreaks chaos and brings destruction on the residents of Gotham which gives a tough test to all. The movie adorned with Ledger’s superb performance has a plot which develops on the shoulders of the Joker. The way he introduces himself at a party searching for Harvey Dent played by Aaron Eckhart, is itself peculiar and idiosyncratic. The way he lies about those scars on his face is haunting and puzzles the listeners.
By SHANKU SHARMA