Dark Knight and Exposition

Christopher Nolan's 2008 mega success about Batman's attempts to defeat a criminal mastermind known only as the Joker.
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Hmmm, I don't really have any issues with the dialogue in TDK. The line you quoted (You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain) actually qualifies as a great one liner for me rather than exposition. I know some people interpret this line as Nolan essentially spoon feeding the audience what was going to happen but at the time I actually thought of it as great foreshadowing.

When I watched TDK I wasn't really much of cinephile. When I look back to when I really started to appreciate great film making I actually consider TDK to be my "awakening." I was blown away by its complexity and one of my friends experienced the same thing. I really think that Nolan might be leading young teenagers to great cinema due to his ability to make movies that are both great blockbusters and amazing movies with amazing stories.

Because I love TDK so much I'm willing to forgive most of its flaws. The line I qualify as spoon feeding would actually be Rachel's "You make your own luck" line. I don't think she'd say that out loud.

I did have some issues with the dialogue in Inception. It personally doesn't really detract from the movie for me when I'm watching it but I do think that if the dialogue would have been a bit better Inception would have been even more of a masterpiece than it already is.

I actually took a stab myself at rewriting part of the screenplay and I think I had some pretty good results...

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To be honest, there are many things in TDK that are easy to miss even with the expositions. Like the above mentioned "You make your own luck" thing. Many of my friends didn't even notice that Dent's coin has the same sides! It's necessary for a lot of people who watch movies with less "focus", if you know what I mean. In Inception there are way, way more exposition dialogues and scenes, and still, the movie is very hard to follow for a lot of people.

My opinion is that Nolan's movies are less "obvious" than most of the American movies these days. Just think of Joker's lies - it's never stated in the movie that the Joker lies to everyone. You just figure it out eventually. And one thing I've noticed - I don't know whether you agree or not, post your opinion! - is that there are lot of key plot elements that aren't even shown in Nolan's movies, especially in TDK. I can't remember any exact things, but anytime I watch TDK it jumps in my mind, so sorry for not giving any examples. Still, I think there are some parts of the plot which most of the directors would show in their movies. But Nolan doesn't do it, because he knows the viewers will figure it out. Like, some people could wonder "how the hell did this character get here?", I'm thinking of these kinds of plot elements. And it's up to the viewer to figure it out. I've noticed many scenes in TDK which are built on the viewers speculations. I don't know if I could make it clear right now :-D

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Chaoticsouls wrote:I feel like Nolan went overboard with the exposition in this movie. For example with Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent which Dent said:
"You either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Nolan seem to feel the need to spoon-food the audience on what exactly was going on in the scene. Nolan makes his characters explain the film instead of showing us through the character's actions and letting the viewer realize what is really going on. It would have been better to convey the motives visually. We see similar scenes where Joker explains everything out in the interrogation scenes or when Alfred gives one of his speeches. I still think the film was great, but just some problems I had with it. When Burton did Batman he tended to show more in his scenes when he had Bruce mourn his parent's deaths.
Even those who don't love Nolan's films usually agree that he's a master of exposition and he packs a ton into his films for this reason, but more importantly what you described is not exposition in any way...

Exposition is a shot, beat, visual or line to introduce explain or set up an element that is necessary to the world of the film or the plot. What you're describing is subtext and you're accusing Nolan of bringing it to the surface too much or "being on the nose". I can see what you're saying in that sense but, as someone explained above, this series has a purposely Shakesperian vibe, it's meant to evoke a sense of aware epicness.

Watch Memento and all the reveals in that film, not to mention how subtextual all the film noir themes are, and you'll see how skilled Nolan is at making subtext and exposition organic. The weighty dialogue in TDK and Inception for that matter is on purpose and done to create a sense of scope and poetic resonance that matches the scale and the themes of the films.

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Chaoticsouls wrote:I feel like Nolan went overboard with the exposition in this movie. For example with Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent which Dent said:
"You either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Nolan seem to feel the need to spoon-food the audience on what exactly was going on in the scene. Nolan makes his characters explain the film instead of showing us through the character's actions and letting the viewer realize what is really going on. It would have been better to convey the motives visually. We see similar scenes where Joker explains everything out in the interrogation scenes or when Alfred gives one of his speeches. I still think the film was great, but just some problems I had with it. When Burton did Batman he tended to show more in his scenes when he had Bruce mourn his parent's deaths.
But whichever way you feel, this is thematic dialogue, not exposition. Scarecrow saying that there are no drug dealers left to buy from is exposition, and good exposition at that, as it establishes that Batman has cleaned up the city in between the films. Gordon asking the girl detective if she visited her mother in the hospital is also exposition, as her mother's hospital bills are later why she becomes a traitor.

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In all honesty, he needs to go overboard to get the idea he wants to get across under our thick skulls (us meaning generall public)
In Inceotion, almost an eighth of the film is based around what Inception was about, which is huge. But for a topic worthy of interest, it was completely worth it.

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Mason wrote:Nolan IS actually the master of exposition.
Maybe except in Inception.
Do you... like pineapple?

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