In a world obsessed with the need to access the sublime, Christian Bale is helping audiences find that extra special something that beats the average. He’s an actor par madness, for in his world, excellence in acting is a measure of how mad, creative and flawed but ruggedly intelligent can you be.
And, one has got to admit, it suits Bale just right. From showing up on the big screen as a young life lost to the Nazi regime in the 1993 epic drama Swing Kids to holding those soft as a lily hands of Winona Ryder in Little Women, to playing the tough as a barbed wire but spun out like a lunatic in American Psycho, Christian Bale has rescued acting from the morose of obscurity.
Holding his ground
In an age where the two Toms; Hanks and Cruise are still going strong and the top brass of “actors” now commands sterling additions in the form of Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Javier Bardem, Eric Bana, Mark Ruffalo (and many others) in its list of usual suspects that include the infallible Pacino, the mighty De Niro and the evergreen Freeman, Bale’s a name that commands meat, both in box office punch and its impact off the silver screen.
An actor, otherwise known to be temperamental but one gifted with the knack of choosing just what seems right, picture ‘The Machinist’, ‘The Fighter’ and ‘The Prestige’, Christian Bale’s rise from just hanging around and doing those good roles to being an effervescent inclusion to the list of A-list actors lends itself to the man’s daring and guile. And, his commanding part as the swashbuckling American aviator stuck and captured during a Vietnam war battle gone wrong in 2006’s Rescue Dawn, is just one of the examples that drives home the point. Bale owes his success to being this untraceable guy looming large from under the skin of a man of normal flesh and blood, but one whose keenness to succeed in movies has got little to do with ‘ringing cash registers’ and more with his own audacity to challenge himself with difficult roles.
Willingness to do the difficult
It is in these longings for attaining the difficult that Christian Bale associates with knightly causes on the giant screen, bringing, in turn, to audiences, a flesh of reality that weighs heavier than any pound of gold.
At 42, where the ‘have been’ are still hanging around strong, measuring the might of script over their own delusions whilst living larger than life characters off screen, it seems Bale’s emergence as an actor worth every second of your time has a lot to do with his significant associations with noted movie-makers.
He has got memorable outings with a storyteller of the infallible credibility of Christopher Nolan, and that’s just the kind of “Prestige” you want when you dream of replicating your dreams as an actor. His association with David O. Russell, a character driven movie maker, under whom the Briton struck big in 2013’s American Hustle and claimed his Academy Award for best supporting actor in 2010’s The Fighter, has added an important dimension to his resume. That you should not just be known for your hunger rather be sought by men who turn reel magic into stuff we dream of doing in real has made audiences intervene with a man who is way more than just another promising actor.
Bale, you’re making the world easy
But, truth be told, with Christian Bale around, we can actually sit back and relax now. The fact that we no longer have to burden ourselves to seek meaning from movies from the showmanship of Denzel or Daniel Day Lewis or derive gratification that only a Tom Hanks or Kevin Spacey drama can bring puts a lot of weight off the audiences’ mind. Isn’t it?
We may not ever see Bale as Bond you know. Not that the intelligence firmament in Britain would despise the idea. We most certainly won’t see Bale pull off an Eastwood styled veneer of calm and exuberance. He’s not known to be that cool as a cucumber one would reckon.
But the fact that, in a Christian Bale vehicle, you can expect wings that glide and often get cut only to draw audiences incessantly to the greed of a man who is willing to stand his own ground as against the ideals that he has come to fight against, never mind his own fallibility, the world suddenly looks more promising, if you were to think.
Making the Dark Knight Rise
For, when a man as moody as Christian Bale, bordering on a near eccentric drive toward self betterment hones his craft to take audiences on a roller-coaster ride, see-sawing on emotions that have it all-rage and loneliness, anger and willingness, you can be sure of one thing: fantasies and story-lines even heavily marked by the sound of technology and commerce such as the imaginative Dark Knight aren’t ‘illusionary’ after all. And that, the Dark Knight, often rises, provided it has Christian Bale bailing out the character from defeat against the evil called mediocrity.