Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his role as the psychopathic Joker in Christopher Nolan's 2008 Batman film, "The Dark Knight." But it was more than Ledger's talent that made the sadistic supervillain a hit with fans.
A new video from Lessons from the Screenplay makes a convincing argument that there's something abnormally excellent about the Joker as the Dark Knight's antagonist, and even those of us who never took a film class can follow along.
It's not just the Joker himself, the video argues, but the special version of him in "The Dark Knight."
And it's not just Ledger's award-winning performance. Part of what makes the makeup-slathered monster an extraordinary bad guy is how creepily balanced the two opponents are. The Joker makes Batman's moral code a weakness, the video notes, and pushes him into difficult choices under pressure. And eventually, Batman must reveal his true character.
There's more, but it's presented so well you'll want to watch it yourself. "I think you and I are destined to do this forever," The Joker warns Batman at one point. The video reminds us that may be a terrible thing for Batman, but a great thing for audiences.