The Dark Knight question

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Anchre

The Dark Knight question

Postby Anchre » Jan 17, 2009 8:40 pm

Hi, I'm new to this board and also new to Dramatica. Just finished the book and tried to apply the concept on stories I know. I was just wondering about the character constellation in the Batman movie "The Dark Knight" I recently watched. There seem to be three characters that could fill in ifferent functions, but it's not quite clear how to arrange them in the theory: Bruce Wayne, The Joker and Harvey Two-Face Dent.

At the beginning, it seems that Batman is the MC, while The Joker is the Antagonist, and Harvey Dent maybe the IC, as he forces Bruce to change to quit his "job" for saving his relationship. Later this changes, and it appears, that Two-Face has become the antagonist, while The Joker becomes the IC - at least for him. Depending on the point of view, one could even think of Batman as an IC. But I think, as the title suggests Batman is the MC. The question remains, who is antagonist and who is IC, who is The Joker and who Harvey Dent?

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Re: The Dark Knight question

Postby Chris Huntley » Feb 18, 2009 1:19 pm

I don't have all the answers for you yet, and I'm reserving them a bit since "The Dark Knight" will be the topic of the Dramatica Users Group discussion in April (http://dramatica.com/community/user_group/index.html). However, I believe you are on the right track.

Harvey Dent appears to be the IC with the Joker as antagonist in the first part of the story. Then the Joker takes over as IC part way through.

I believe the thing that complicates (confuses?) issues is that there is a partially developed substory with Harvey Dent that is mixed into the larger "Joker" story. I don't know that it is developed fully enough, which undermines the emotional effectiveness of Harvey's plight and antics at the end of the story.

I'll post a link to the podcast of the DUG discussion once it has been posted to Dramatica.com.

But as a new user to Dramatica, I think you've got a decent understanding of the basic ideas. Well done.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.
http://dramatica.com/
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trefoil

Re: The Dark Knight question

Postby trefoil » Jul 11, 2010 5:08 am

Okay, I'm new to Dramatica, extremely new to this board and rather new to English as a language as well, so... I thought I might start by digging up an old thread concerning one of my favourite films. I've listened to the Users Group Podcast a few times during the last weeks and I while I think my understanding of Dramatica and TDK has improved, there's still some things I'm not sure I understand.

Batman has this one rule and he breaks it in the end (Change Main Character) in order to stop Two-Face and – in a way – the Joker (Outcome: Success). He feels bad about it though (Judgement: Bad), because he's now a criminal and is hunted as one by the Police.

Apart from Rachel, Dent and Batman himself, the City of Gotham is fine in the end, meaning that Batman's actions resolved the Story's problem. The OS Solution, the 'Result' of capturing the Joker and killing Dent resolved an OS Problem of 'Process'.

Batman changed: He solved his MC Problem by adopting the MC Solution. And then feels Bad about it. Batman has a rule of not killing people, that's his process, that's how he does things and that's probably what got the Joker interested in him. So... Is Batman himself the source of the OS Problem? Is it his process, his way of doing things, that causes everything, with the crimes and the Joker being the OS Symptom and Batman's crimefighting the OS Response?

Now... Batman kills Two-Face and defeats the Joker by basically saying, »The ends justify the means, I'll do whatever it takes...« That's his new approach and that's what successfully resolves the Overall Story. But that would mean, that he created a problem by following rules and »hammering them to the point of desperation«, as Alfred puts it, only to solve it by abandoning all rules and attacking them even harder.

So... What's the Grand Argument here? It seems like they're saying: »If you want to save your city from crime, you should do everything it takes. You will feel terrible in the end (Judgement: Bad), but this is kind of a working approach (OS Outcome of Success).

I don't know. If a GAS is a mind solving a problem... Is it okay for that mind to fail? As long as it realizes that it did? Because in The Dark Knight, neither the Main nor the Impact Character seem to have a Success/Good solution for the OS Problem.

But then again: I'm new to this and really good at getting confused. I may be completely on the wrong track. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I can already see Nolan's "Inception" throw multiple Storyforms at me, with two Main and three Impact Characters all positioned in a Guardian who thinks he's the Antagonist.

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Re: The Dark Knight question

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 12, 2010 10:50 am

For being new to Dramatica, your summation of the GAS conclusion is pretty dead on.

So... What's the Grand Argument here? It seems like they're saying: »If you want to save your city from crime, you should do everything it takes. You will feel terrible in the end (Judgement: Bad), but this is kind of a working approach (OS Outcome of Success).


Yes. Some problems are unsolvable. Some are unsolvable for some but not for others. A grand argument story sees the win-win scenario as only one of four possible choices: SUCCESS/GOOD (win-win), SUCCESS/BAD (win-lose), FAILURE GOOD (lose-win), and FAILURE/BAD (lose-lose).

While Batman/Bruce Wayne is not the specific cause of the problem, he is certainly tightly connected to it. Batman's presence in Gotham City attracts the Joker, who happens to like the challenge. I'm not saying Batman drew the Joker to Gotham City, but the Joker certainly stayed because of Batman.

So, while being "results-oriented" works well for the people and institutions of Gotham City (Success), that same shift leaves Batman/Bruce in a bad place personally (emotionally). Part of the reason for that feeling is that he has become the thing he hates, and he did it by choice -- the apparent lesser of two evils. He sacrificed his peace for that of the people of Gotham City.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.
http://dramatica.com/
http://screenplay.com/


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