The Joker comes to town

DUBAI - With only a day more to go before the wings of the The Dark Knight descend on the UAE, film buffs are gearing up to see whether the blockbuster would actually live up to its hype in the country.



By Aakanksha Singh

Published: Wed 23 Jul 2008, 2:12 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:16 PM

Already making history with record weekend collections in the United States, the much-awaited film is currently enjoying worldwide adulation.

Much of the film’s success is being attributed to the late actor, Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker and the intense hype surrounding it.

The film has critics and audiences raving about Ledger’s last role, even generating talk of a rare posthumous Oscar for the actor who died recently.

“I can’t wait to watch the film. I’m expecting the best. Personally, I’m going for it because of Heath Ledger. I’ve heard so much about this film and his role in it,” says college student Joshua Johnson.

“Yes, I am going to watch the movie and it’s because of Heath Ledger,” says Uzma Atcha, echoing the opinions of a great majority of cinema goers.

The film has already been voted as the ‘Best movie ever made’ on popular movies database site, www.imdb.com, even ahead of legends such as The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption.

It is not often that the frenzy surrounding a superhero film scales these heights mainly because of the villain in the film. Charbel Adi Gerges, Manager of Grand Megaplex theatres in Ibn Batuta mall calls The Dark Knight the biggest film of the summer.

“We started advanced booking four days before the release date (midnight Wednesday). I expect the movie to remain in our theatres for at least two months,” he says.

Shooting Stars LLC, distributors of the film in the UAE, when contacted about the number of prints they plan to release in the UAE, refused to comment.

However, Managing Director Roy Chacra says: “The Dark Knight will be huge! The international hype surrounding the movie is definitely reflected in the hype we are seeing here in the UAE.

“We expect this movie to do extremely well in line with what it has been doing overseas. Movie-goers will be lining up in droves starting midnight tonight for the first showings of The Dark Knight.

Even as cinema buffs globally criticise the producers for taking unethical advantage of the interest surrounding Ledger’s death, they are still being drawn to the hoardings and advertisements depicting the eerie Joker.

Licensing deals for movie merchandise had already been signed between Warner Bros studios and Ledger before his untimely death.

Following his death, the studio, after consultation with Ledger’s family, decided to stick to their publicity campaign and merchandise deals despite accusations of taking advantage of the tragedy.

“Our customers are eagerly waiting. This movie will be a big success in all of UAE,” says Yasser Al Safadi, Manager of Grand Sharjah I theatres. Tonight’s midnight premiere of The Dark Knight will flag off the flood of audiences into the theatres of UAE.

It remains to be seen whether the film will be able to satisfy the immense audience expectations.

The UAE waits with bated breath to see whether the Joker will play his cards right.


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