FILM FEATURE: How Gotham changed my views on film…

I recently watched Suicide Sqaud for the first time.

I thought i would let that sink in for a few seconds before writing anything else. I also recently watched Gotham all the way up to the season 3 finale.

Again, I will allow that to sink into your mind for a few minutes. One of them completely dissapointed me and the other one set a fire on in my soul.

If you think about that for a few seconds I think you can guess exactly which one did what. Well, let me just summarise for those who don’t know the answer. I was so excited for Suicide Squad, not because I have read the comic books (I haven’t) but because of two things – one being the trailer reeled me in and the other (and more then likely main) reason was because of Jared Leto as the Joker.

I am already a big fan of Jared but when I saw the creation and then finally heard him act like the joker i was hooked, and like most people couldnt wait to see the film and him in action. I felt everything about the style and the characterisation of their concept of the Joker was amazing and i had very high hopes. Then I saw Suicide Squad, and like mannnnnnnyyy people i was so irritated by it and i actually turned off halfway through then messaged Karam with the BIGGEST rant o my life (yes, its a surprise that Karam still writes for us haha).

A few weeks later I decided to give Gotham a try again. When it first came onto Channel 5, i started to watch it but forogt to go back after the mid season break and sort of lost the momentum of the show, so when Netflix said they added the latest season, i thought ok maybe i should try this again. I knew some of the story that was to come because I had done an edit in my job with the writer Bruno Heller but instead of going in dissapointed about what was to come it sort of prepared me as I am not the biggest fan of gorey bits.

I rewatched the episodes that I had already seen half heartedly as I remembered them and then it got to the bit that i hadn’t. I didnt expect it to have a lot of impact on me but i fell instantly addicted. Oh my word.

The first time I watched the show way back when I was fascinated by Robin Lord Taylors depiction of Penguin and knew that if i went back to the show in the future that would be the main reason. Going back to watch the whole show, he is stil the main reason i watch but at the same time completely and utterly fascinated by. He is so well casted and has done such a great job bringing to life the character that i am still amazed every episode – he is the perfect mix of crazy and also a character you symphathise with. Other characters such as The Riddler have blown me away with their storyline and the development of their character. Being an Editor, I am an absolute sucker for the way they create the other side of Enigma initially and it reeled me in both in admiration and also fascination.

After seeing what little Joker there was in the Suicide Squad I thought that there wouldn’t be many people that could fill the shoes of someone like him as he played it well and i am sure if they actually gave him a decent air time it would of been even better. However, the character of Jerome in Gotham completly threw my ideaologies completely out of the window.

Whilst it still hasn’t been officially revealed that Jerome in Gotham is the Joker, they have created him so well that it is a natural villain for the character to fall into.

I knew Jerome was coming but when he did it still gave me one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had when watching a television show – i found him highly hilarious and adorable but at the same time highly scary and insane as hell. Cameron Monaghan has done a fascinating job bringing the character to life and when you watch him at work in the show it really is a bittersweet feeling you are met with.

Its not everyday that I would turn around and say that I would rather watch the superhero television show then the films. Now, I am not a comic book reader so if you are reading this and expecting me to go into the depths of this and that and to compare it from a comic book reader perspective – you are not going to get that. Instead, you are going to get the views from a 28 year old girl who has random

opinions about this sort of thing.

The recent DC universe does not appeal to me – I watched the first Superman and thought the story was good and developed well but the film was soooo long that i just couldnt face sequel – that and I also am not a fan of Ben Affleck and have heard mix views on whether he is any good at the role. I gave Suicide Squad a chance because like i said the trailer seemed appealing and Jared Leto but I didn’t like the way the narrative was told i found it sloppy with lots of gaps and quite dull and could tell without reading before hand that it had been re-edited for one reason or another as there were way to many puns for it to be a normal film.

Saying that, Batman has always been in my life since I was a kid. I used to watch the Adam West version when I was getting ready for school (Wham! Bam!) and i adored some of the nineties films. I adore Batman Forever (1995) and no matter how silly it actually is, I really like it and the story. I also love Jim Carrey as the Riddler and feel that he brought a great comedy to the character. I also really enjoyed the Christian Bale films (apart from the final one) both him and Heath Ledger did wonders and I really enjoyed those films and the approach to them.

DC is in a huge competition in the cinema with Marvel in the recent years, but I am not sure if it is just me but everytime I see a trailer for a new film my heart sinks a little bit. The only one that intrigues me is Wonder Woman as that has had a lot of positive reseponse but a lot of it, no. Gotham however, episodes gave me actual goosebumps as to how well they have created it. I am not sure whether its because there is more demand these days for binge-able television or whether its just been created like that from the start but I personally dont think there is anything like it in the comic book universe on television.

The one thing I adore about Gotham is the way they do sort of stick to relevance from the nineties films and in some ways Christain Bales films. Whilst they are focussed on the stories of the comic books – I read an interview where Robin Lord Taylor said that he uses Danny Devitos Penguin as his inpsiration and I see it! I am not sure who Cory Michael Smith aims to channel or use for inspiration for the Riddler, but I see elements of Jim Carrey in him and thats what i love – a lot of it may not be deliberate, but there are so many referncecs to the nineties films that it really lifts the show to another level.

There is a lot of talk between guy mates I know who are avid fans of the DC universe saying that the show is trying to Channel a Ben Affleck look into the Bruce Wayne of Gotham but i don’t see it. To me, the way that they have developed the Bruce Wayne Character in the show is so good, and think it is something that in the years to come SHOULD lead to Batman.

However, saying that, i have read interviews with Ben McKenzie who plays Jim Gorden saying that the last shot of the last ever episode will be of Wayne suiting up properlly. I really hope this isnt the case. They have built up all characters so well to me I am hoping, really hoping that it goes on until Wayne is offically Batman.

I have recently started to replay the games on PS3 and from watching Gotham, i understand every single character more then i have ever done before. Say what you want about Gotham, there is one thing that it is – an educational tool.

Whilst this feature may of been of someone rambling on about a television show, for me this is so much more. It isnt very often that a television show or film does a sort of “awakening” to me as a person and there are very few that have – American Beauty opened my eyes to the world of Cinematography and Sherlock opened my eyes to innovative ways to use graphics in shows – but Gotham has had a huge impact on me. I have never seen a show casted as well as Gotham and every episode it raises my level of fascination as to how well something can be stylised or edited.

Categories: Film, Film Feature, Games, Television

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1 reply »

  1. Timely article for me. I’m going to Chicago on Tue and I’m happy to take in the Gotham convention while there. Love the show. I’m a little bit in love with Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith.


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