I don’t know where to start. I didn’t expect Joker to be what it turned out to be. Did it exceed my expectations? It took a turn in a different direction and never came close to them but not in a bad way… I think. I’m sure you can tell how mixed I am. I am not sure if the filmed triumphed at being something unique and impressive or just plain evil…
Let’s start at the beginning. The script was surprising. It is heavily centered on Arthur Fleck and he was in almost every scene. There’s some deep diving into his psyche and mind and it was a crazy experience (in fact the whole film was). There was a solid representation of mentally ill people and it was very realistic. The film uses the “comics” mythology in its favor but only commercially. I found ties to the comics and the classic Batman mythology unnecessary to some extent. I wish it was not titled Joker, “Clown” would have worked. It could have been brilliant without any ties to the comics and especially Joker (this is just a symbol that studios trust franchises and not original ideas). I am not arguing about whether it was a good rendition of The Joker or not, it’s just wasn’t necessary for this film to work. On its own it can stand as great character study. It’s not the usual comic book movie with the usual story template. Joker is gritty, dark, and unstable and surprising with plot twists you don’t see coming. Our protagonist is great, his story is properly developed and fleshed out, which leads to side characters who were weak and unexplored but it is understandable. The performances were great, everyone did a great job and I can’t complain. Onto the man of the hour, mister J, it’s a unique take on the Joker that I don’t love nor hate; it’s different. Joaquin Phoenix nailed it. His performance is award worthy.
Todd Phillips used very nice and untraditional camera movements (independent) to focus the story on our main character and he succeeded. He was accompanied with a fitting cinematography that elevated the film. The music was good and set an atmosphere of madness for the film. I loved the atmosphere surrounding the film which fluctuates between childish, clown-ey, dark, funny. It is an unstable film.
There were many crazy scenes that let me stare in awe and utter disturbance. DARK AND CRAZY are two words to properly describe this film. The whole experience from start to finish was simply disturbing. This whole unrest and craze developing in the first two acts doesn’t match the third…
The third act is where the film will leave its mark in history. Yes, history. JOKER made me fear it (the film). It is inspirational in the wrong way. The way it glorifies violence is just messed up. It was done before but with Joker it’s different. I can see Joker being a symbol of riots. What it delivers touches our world and current society in a very painful way that can bring out darkness within the disturbed weak. Yes the film highlights how bad it is to be mentally sick but it will awaken things… dark things.
The film is an original take on the Joker that will leave a mark but it is in some ways a scary movie that won’t go unnoticed. I may be exaggerating but I can see this going south in many ways. The mirroring of reality in this metaphorical (or straight in your face) way was not short of genius, the film points out the basic problems of society but the most painful.
A high grade is a must. I don’t hate this film… it’s in fact genius and in a way revolutionary, however… I wrote a long review to explain the however.
WATCH IT…(figuratively and literally)