Movie Review: Joker
This film is directed by Todd Philips, and it stars Joaquin Pheonix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz, Marc Maron, and Brett Cullen. This particular film takes a look at Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Pheonix) and how he becomes the iconic comic book character of the Joker.
Wow! Saw this last night and went to sleep thinking of the score to this film alongside Joaquin Phoenix’s laugh. I liked this film. I’d be shocked if Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t get an Academy nomination for this performance (he is currently my favorite male performance of this year, sorry Taron). He entirely transformed himself (mentally and physically) into this character, and it was fascinating to watch it unfold on the big screen. Pheonix single handily carries this film. I had read and heard that his performance was superb, but nothing would prepare me for what I was about to watch. The opening shot was the moment I knew this would be a different comic book movie. At first, I’m aware the Pheonix is performing as the Joker, but within minutes I’m sucked into the character Pheonix disappears, and all I’m seeing is the Joker.
The cinematography and bone-chilling score elevate this film to one of the best of this year. There are many shots that I wouldn’t mind placing as my screensaver. The color palette and custom design solely define the dark and serious tone of this film.
Now on with the controversy surrounding the film, although I understand why people would consider this an incel anthem, I saw this film as a society is the creator of its monsters. This is just a film about the origin story of an iconic comic book character. The film did have me sympathizing with Arthur after all his life hasn’t been the greatest. However, I never found myself rooting for his actions. What this film does with his laughter is an interesting element that, as of now, I’m still not sure if it was true. I know my previous sentence sounds vague, but I don’t want to spoil the film, so I’ll leave it that (feel free to DM me, and we can further discuss this).
The smoking in this film is frequent, and the logical side of me wonders how in the world was he allowed to smoke in certain areas. There is one particular scene that I strongly disliked. I understood that this character would do something of that magnitude, but I was still bothered by it. I’m having difficulties attempting to describe how I felt when this film ended. I was disturbed and left with a sense of concern, thinking of the possibilities this film realistically portrayed the outcome and root problem of many individuals with mental issues. A mentally challenged individual living in a broken and divided society can’t have a good result. Unfortunately, this film would be considered an incentive for more violence and shootings; however, I’m also bothered that it is an only concern here in the United States. I’ll leave it at that; otherwise, I’m going to write a political argument, which many rather not read. The representation of women in this film was a unique take. I read an article this morning about the majority of the women interacting with Joker being Black. The article brought up valid points (I won’t specify since it may contain spoilers), and I entirely agreed with it (published on HuffPost written by Zeba Blay). I applaud WB for greenlighting a film like this to be made. I don’t know how many times I’ll be watching this movie again, but it’s had such an impactful first viewing that it’ll stay with me for some time.
I give this film an 8 out of 10