Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight is one of the greatest not only in a comic book movie, but any film. And fans have always wondered about the character’s origins, but one recent theory sounds pretty darn good.
Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt recently made a Facebook post about The Dark Knight and Ledger’s iconic performance. And after watching the movie again, he came up with a brilliant theory about the Joker’s possible origins. Oswalt noted that throughout the movie, the Joker shows an aptitude for psychology and specifically interrogation techniques, and that throughout the movie he changes his personality to extract information or an action from a character.
“The way he adjusts his personality and methods depending on who he’s talking to and knowing EXACTLY the reaction he’ll get” Oswalt writes. “Mocking Gamble’s manhood; invoking terror to Brian, the ‘false; Batman; teasing the policeman’s sense of loyalty to his fallen, fellow cops; digging into Gordon’s isolation; appealing to Harvey Dent’s hunger for ‘fairness.'”
Oswalt says he likes the theory that the Joker is an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD, but that he specifically had a specialty in military intelligence and interrogation techniques.
Here’s Oswalt’s full post if you’re interested:
I’ve always liked the theory that Heath Ledger’s Joker in Christopher Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT is a war veteran suffering…
Of course, the best part about the Joker is that you never actually know his background and what turned him into the crazed psychopath, and what that says about how close any human is to becoming the same thing.
But this theory is also good.