July 28th, 2008
01:57 PM ET

'Dark Knight' gets it from both sides

The wonderful thing about a work of art - or a pop-culture phenomenon - is that you can look at it as an allegory for whatever ideology you subscribe to.

"The Dark Knight" has earned almost universal praise, but what does it all MEAN?

Witness the blog frenzy over the op-ed piece in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that theorized that “The Dark Knight” is “a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush.”

Naturally, other bloggers disagree.

The arguments demonstrate the deep impact that the many-layered “Dark Knight,” which now ranks as the Internet Movie Database’s greatest film ever (move over, “Shawshank” and “Godfather”), has had on the moviegoing public.

Either way, the prime symbol of the film - the Joker as terrorist - is impossible to miss, with many reviewers characterizing “The Dark Knight” as representative of our post-9/11 world.

The debates also remind me of other battles over films’ meanings: Was “Patton” a pro-war statement or a portrait of an out-of-control military leader? Was “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” an anti-Communist diatribe or an attack on American conformity?


- Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

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