As we've been discussing, in Dark Knight, most of the characters face moral dilemmas and struggling with violating their own principles. Many are the ways, large and small, in which the persons of the drama betrayal themselves, others, and the principles they profess. But none of the betrayed the principles they profess more than ...
The Joker, as portrayed by the late Heath Ledger, is very convincing liar. So much so, that I've noticed that he managed to deceive lots of people in the audience as well. "Oh," I hear people saying, "the Joker was such a force of chaos! He represents anarchy!" Um... yeah.
What part of "It's all part of the plan?" did you not get?!
Yes, the Joker does represent chaos ... in a way. But I'm astonished at how many people seem to have overlooked the fact that the Joker's brand of "chaos" requires enormous amounts of complex and detailed planning. The opening bank robbery scene ALONE is a masterpiece of clockwork scheduling. Watch the film; right after he says, "I kill the busdriver," the Joker steps a bit to one side. He's getting out of the way of the incoming bus. That presumes he knows exactly when and where it's arriving.
The list is almost endless. Planning on the reactions that send people to the ferries. The bombs and their detonations. The burning fire truck blockade. Getting captured. His one phone call. Batman is the one who's improvising in this story; everything the Joker does is coldly calculated in advance.
And that includes his carefully crafted persona. Hanging his head out the car window like a crazy dog, "I just do whatever comes into my head," playing the unpredictable lunatic. Did he convince you? That was all part of his plan, too.
He professes to be an agent of chaos, but he's actually a mastermind of order. But, in fact, he has a clear agenda, and goes to great lengths with elaborate plans to make his point. It's a great way to write him and very consistent with his original portrayal, in which advance planning was his forte and how he stayed a step ahead of the police.
The Joker's goal is make all the other characters in the Dark Knight betray and abandon their old principles. But in order to do that, he must betray and abandon his own, and much more severely than they do. To be what he says he is, he must be exactly the opposite ... and keep you from noticing it..
Somehow, however, I think he'd be okay with that.