There has been discussion about whether or not Heath Ledger should be nominated for an Oscar because of his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
Why should an actor be nominated for a character portrayal that actally led to his death?
If you have seen the Dark Knight, I commend you. You will understand the accusations I make of this film, and the criticisms I make of Ledger. Don't get me wrong, I think Ledger was a wonderful actor, and his portrayal of the Joker was phenominal. I don't however, agree that anyone should be nominated for such a dark role.
The Joker's character is nothing but pure evil. I realize, and understand, that this film is a visual parallel and challenge on Terrorism. But you cannot deny the Biblical underlying of a character such as the Joker. The character of the Joker is described as an 'agent of chaos'. The Bible also describes Satan as an agent of chaos. The Joker kills for no other reason than to kill. He is a reckless character with no morals, no conscience, no soul. He acknowledges the existance of order, but his entire being is one of a literal shit disturber. Of this we should be terrified.
If we look at most villians, they have some ethics, some moral, and some character traits which allow them to consider even the slightest the option of changing sides. They are offered the grace of the good guy and at least think about taking it. What is most terrifying about the Joker character in Batman, is that he doesn't even blink. He is an agent of chaos. Pure evil. He is a character which took over Ledger's entire being. You can see that, radiating from the performance. Evil such as that cannot be simply acted, but must be felt, and drawn from within. It is that knowledge that scares me.
I think about our society, enthralled with Ledger's performance, and I am outraged that the church would pick on a series such as Harry Potter, but allow this through the gates. What is this teaching us as we ooh and awe over Ledger's performance? Teenagers are awestruck by the graphics, adults are dumbfounded by the shear genius of the film, and we sit, quite unaware that someday, this could be the world. The Joker used nothing but weapons which already exist. He was strategic in his planning, and he was the one leading in the game of cards.
So my insight is this. We can watch this movie and realize how the devil is moving. Look at our own society, our own weapons, our own laws. God put the 10 commandments in to guide us, so that we would not be harmed. Satan is out to harm us. Or, we can watch the movie for enjoyment. Either way, the task is left up to us to decide what we think. Do we ooh and awe over a great acting job, or do we acknowledge the insights that have been revealed to us?
I would also like you all to note, that it is never directly made clear if, at the end, the Joker does indeed die.
So, should Ledger be nominated for the Oscar? I think the answer will be an insight in and of itself unto our world, what its values are, where it stands, what the ultimate Agent of Chaos has up his sleeves.