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AQA GCSE Coursework | Writing a Review of ‘The Dark Knight’

Ed Scrivens | Friday July 17, 2009

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What are the basics of writing a review?

  1. Have a clear argument
  2. Introduce the plot
  3. Contextualise the film - how does it relate to other films around it?
  4. Contextualise the actors - how does this fit within their career and star image?
  5. Make specific reference to sections of the film
  6. Use the language of opinion giving
  7. Make specific reference to target audience
  8. Bring your argument to a conclusion, summarising what you believe the film’s good and bad qualities to be

What else do I need to do for an A?

  • Shaped and controlled writing
  • A wide vocabulary
  • A precise, fluent style (don’t waste words!)
  • A sophisticated response to the film itself
  • A control of the form of the review - does it sound like it might be published?
  • A control of the purpose of the review - does it sound like belongs in Empire Magazine or in The Sun?

Now, let’s begin to deal with the film itself…

Scene 1 | The Nature of Crime

This film examines the nature of crime and how it has evolved in society in modern times.

Examine the quotation below, taken as a transcript from the film:

Gotham National Bank Manager: The criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect. Look at you! What do you believe in, huh? What do you believe in-?

[Bozo leans down and sticks a grenade in the manager’s mouth]

Bozo: I believe, that whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you… [takes off his mask to reveal]

The Joker: Stranger.

  • What type of crime does the Mafia bank manager represent?
  • What type of crime does the Joker represent in the film?

Scene 2 | Following Batman

Watch the segment where Batman is forced to rescue the vigilantes who have followed his example. Discuss the following statement:

Batman is responsible for the idiots who dress up like him, and try to battle crime, wearing hockey pads. Do you agree?

Examining Batman’s Symbolism

As director, Christopher Nolan encourages the audience to see Batman as more than simply a comic book hero. Nolan argues that...


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