DECONSTRUCTION OF VIOLENCE IN CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S THE DARK KNIGHT
Keywords:Film studies, violence, deconstruction, post-structuralism, binary oppositions
In the 21st century, violence has become so abundant and deeply rooted in the visual medium of storytelling known as cinema that it has compelled film researchers to consider violence as a part of cinema’s formal structure. Violence being plentiful and readily available to this increasing degree in cinema, it has become a pertinent subject of deep analysis in film studies to decipher all the different implications embedded in the violent acts depicted on celluloid. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) is a film that portrays violent tales revolving around the characters of Batman and the Joker. In fact, both heroic and evil characters perform violent acts in the film. Using Jacques Derrida’s post-structuralist idea of deconstruction, binary oppositions revolving around violence in the film - such as violence perpetrated by hero/villain, violence in/out of context, justified/unjustified violence - can be analysed. Such analysis of binary oppositions concerning violence can then lead to the discovery of plurality of meaning. As deconstruction aims to uncover the unconscious voices of a text by identifying internal contradictions, binary oppositions or inconsistencies within a text, it is an effective lens to study such complex implications regarding violence. Thus, a single violent act depicted in the film can be deconstructed in different contexts to strip off its singular meaning intended by the filmmakers.
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