You Know How I Got These Scars: How the Joker Writes His Own Narrative in ‘The Dark Knight’

/Film | 7/18/2018 | Candice Frederick
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There has always been a strange appeal to Heath Ledger’s The Joker in The Dark Knight, a playful yet formidable villain capable of making you laugh uncomfortably just as easily as he could throw you off a roof and skip away without so much of a second glance. It’s a fascination propelled by the fact that he not only walks around in a wrinkled purple suit and a face caked with melted clown makeup, but he has a long jagged red scar where his smile is supposed to be. Because as absurd as his maquillage and attire are, The Joker’s scars hide something far more sinister and tell a story about him that, until The Dark Knight, we hadn’t heard before.

But The Joker doesn’t simply recall a haunting tale from his past to appease his curious victims. Rather, he captivates them with the comforting sense that his maniacal behavior is not ungrounded — right before he turns that on its head in the most brutal way.

Freaks - Story - Joker - Toughest - Enemies

If it’s true that all “freaks” have a tragic story to tell, than The Joker is more than happy to oblige with several so disturbing that they rattle even his toughest enemies. That’s exactly what happens when he confronts Gambol (Michael Jai White), a criminal who tries and fails to put a hit out on him. Assuming he’s finally put an end to “the clown,” Gambol is shocked when The Joker pops out of a body bag with a knife in his hand that he quickly places in his opponent’s mouth. With Gambol frozen in fear, The Joker takes the opportunity to tell him the story we’ve all wanted to know for some time — where he got those scars. In this scene, they’re from his father, who he describes as a drunk who beat...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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