Requiem for a ‘Dark Knight’

This marks the first weekend since it opened that I shall not be seeing The Dark Knight. I bought my ticket for the July 17th midnight screening several days in advance, and was thoroughly enthralled by the film – so much so that I never once sat back during 152mins, and didn’t even notice there was no AC in the burning building until an enraging power outage during the Joker’s monologue to Harvey Dent brought us all crashing back down to earth. (We got 2 free passes for films and concession items for the 5min disruption; I don’t intend to go see The Dark Knight for free though).

I almost saw it again that Sunday but decided to let the anticipation fester, and I was chomping at the bit by the next Saturday, when I finally got to watch it for a 2nd time. Not sated, a friend and I purchased tickets to see it in IMAX the following Friday, the Experience of which I shall elaborate on come Monday.

But now I’m worried of over-saturation, of dulling the impact of this masterpiece by seeing it 4 weekends in a row. So now I’ve made the Herculean decision to abstain for at least another week, until the anticipation bubbles over again.

It seems that it is not only for me that Dark Knight fever is slowly relinquishing a grip on. Every day to and from work I pass through Union Station, one of the busiest ports on Toronto’s subway line (which isn’t say too much about a transit system about as elegantly designed as a root canal or about as functional as the CN Tower). For a couple of weeks before The Dark Knight opened, its posters ran the entire length of the walls of that stop, on both sides. There was one of the Bat-Pod crashing out the side of a building, one of Batman in front of a burning skyscraper (‘Welcome To A World Without Rules’), and one of the Joker in all his fiendish glory. And every morning and evening after I passed through there, I found myself wishing I’d brought along a change of underwear.

It started gradually, the removal of the posters, about a week after its release. But nothing sullied the walls where the fallen TDK posters had been; they were left blank, along with the few others remaining. And even though I knew they were on their way out – it’s almost 4 weeks now; in today’s world, that’s less modern than Ancient Greece – I still wasn’t prepared for the disappointment of pulling into Union yesterday only to be greeted by the affront of all the TDK posters completely replaced. By ads for Telus mobility. That’s like swapping the euphoria of the Nexus (only Star Trek fans will get this) for the allures of a head-splitting aneurysm.

And now – oh the horror – The Dark Knight is on the cusp of being knocked off its lofty perch atop the box office. Pineapple Express and Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 (of all things) edged it into 3rd place on Wednesday, which should be how standings hold up by the end of the weekend.

Nothing remains new forever, and people are fickle, but it’s sad that The Dark Knight seems to be becoming just another film. For me it was an event, an earth-shattering experience that literally saved my life and, hopefully, changed it for the better (not that big a feat, admittedly). With so much emotion and time invested in this film, I really have no idea what I’ll do with myself if, as Valerie told me tonight, I “get sick of it.” Might as well be sick of everything else, too, and be rid of it all; no?

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