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|Darkness and Light - Page 4|
Ledger isn't trying to entertain anyone, just broadcast his contempt for all things human, even Batman—as he mockingly remarks to Bale, "You complete me." He gains his power over Gotham by showing the quivering sheep of the city how easily he—and, by extension, the rest of us—can violate the moral standards we're usually too unimaginative and lily-livered to break.
We leave The Dark Knight terrified of the chaos around us, fearing the specter of the Joker—i.e., al Qaeda, global warming, the rising prices of Arab oil, or whatever other forces lie beyond our control.
Fortunately, the same weekend that The Dark Knight opened, its cinematic antidote appeared. Mamma Mia! takes us to a wedding in the great Meryl Streep's crumbling, whitewashed inn on a sunny Greek island, where her big-eyed daughter, played by Amanda Seyfried, has never been told who her father was. But Seyfried finds the diary her mother kept 20 years ago and invites to her wedding each of the three men from Meryl's past who might be her father.
They're played by the unlikely trio of Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgerd, each of whom has long ago outgrown his hippie days. Also on hand are Streep's old friends from her rock group of yore—fireball Julie Walters and stork-legged Christine Baranski—to bring comedy and energy to the proceedings.
The film depends on our falling in love with a sunny world of happy people who just get off on tapping their toes, trilling their vocal chords, and living happily ever after, even if they aren't young, beautiful, or talented. There are no chorus lines of perfect bodies with feathers in their hair. It's a film in which even minimal musical ability seems unnecessary, maybe even intrusive.