Joker is a 2019 psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scott Silver. The film is based on DC Comics antagonist The Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix. The origin story set in 1981. The film follows Arthur Fleck (Joker), a failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City.
The film was highly criticized for its violence and disturbing themes, however, it seems that the media has hyped up a controversy that doesn’t exist after viewing the film.
Before I get started on my review of the film I must point out that the film is in no way a controversial film. After watching the film today, I didn’t see any outrageous or disturbing moments in the film besides the obvious violence that can be found in other TV shows and movies today. Some people may still find this film disturbing and those people who can’t handle violent, suicidal behavior and innapropriate jokes are urged not to watch the film.
The main character Arthur Fleck (Joker) is a troubled man who was abandoned and adopted when he was too young to remember. Arthur suffers from a neurological condition that causes him to laugh at inappropriate times. After the government failed to help Author he is left fending for himself and his sanity on the streets of Gotham trying to take care of his sick adoptive mother and become a successful comedian.
The story of the Joker follows the basic laws of origin stories that follows the main character as he is victimized by a series of traumatic events that causes him to be permanently changed by these events. The story is satisfying enough that the twists and the attention to detail will keep you interested in where the story will go next.
Joaquin Phoenix brings us the best interpretation of the Joker since Heath Ledger version in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film “The Dark Knight”. He nails the iconic laugh but making it his own and it’s probably the most perfect psychotic laugh ever done. Phoenix has truly transformed his self for this role in a way that absolutely redefined the standard for one of the most iconic DC Comics villains. Phoenix’s performance has already caught the attention of the academy and maybe pushed for consideration for an Oscar nomination.
“Joker” touches on individuals who were failed by society and who were failed by the industries that overshadow them. I feel that many people can relate to Arthur’s struggle, someone who wants to be a good person but was ultimately denied every advantage of his life from the day he was born. Some people may see Joker as a glorified comic book character that can be a bad influence on people, however, the flip side to that is that Joker can actually be an example of how people with mental illness can easily become lost and abandoned by society and spiral down a dark path in which they may not recover.
Some audiences may become lost during some moments in the film due to some twisty scenes where you think what is happening is real but actually Arthur is imagining it. I thought how the film was cut was brilliant however some people may not understand what happened because there wasn’t enough context at first.
Joker is a film that you could easily watch again. It has its funny moments and it satisfies the hardcore comic book fans with one of the most recognizable characters in comic book history.
“Joker” is a brilliant and fantastic film that focuses more on the psychological damage that an individual can receive from an unjust form of humanity while not over glorifying the violent acts of a mentally disturbed person. The criticism about glorifying the violent behavior of a mentally disturbed person was over reacted and overhyped by the media. I’m not sure if it was a publicity stunt to draw more attention to the film or if it was the current era of over sensitivity and outrage that over exaggerated the films violence.
Joker is a touching and amazing film that deserves better than what people making it out to be.
Total Score 9/10