JOAQUIN PHOENIX IS LITERALLY THE WHOLE MOVIE ! - 8/10
by Mohamad Khatib
On a positive note, beautiful direction by Todd Philips, amazing cinematography, production design and art direction, a captivating score and phenomenal work by Joaquin, he was the whole movie, literally. I loved and enjoyed every minute of it.
On a critical note, first, i thought the script was very well-written but rather too simple and straightforward. An ordinary man with a mental past gets abused to the point of losing his mind, that's it, the story does not leave you with any intrigue or suspence and no particular ideas to ponder about, it is all out there, hence making the narrative rather predictable.
Second, Arthur Fleck existed in two kinds of circumstances, a social one of poverty, reflected in garbage and rats filling the streets and an abusive one reflected in his job and.... pretty much it, nothing else.
As far as the social conditions surrounding him, I did not really feel the gravity of them because Arthur was practically in every single scene that we as an audience did not get the chance to empathise with him except through quick news bulletins and actuall garbage being put as a foreground in some scenes.The same goes for the abuse, the only abuse i witnessed was of the physical nature on two seperate occasions. Abuse is not only physical, it could also be verbal and emotional especially in the sense of ignoring the very existence of the person in question in the first place, Arthur experienced those things but we as an audience did not, they were certainly suggested and expressed by Arthur in saying but not so much in happenings.
There was an over-reliance on Arthur's character and Joaquin's performance to carry this story and he definitely succeeded but it would have been nice to experience some scenes that contributed to his tragic fate without him being in every single one of them and this even was quite evident too in some of the abusive characters involved in Arthur's life like his workmate Randall and De Niro's Murray Franklin in which again we witness the psychological aftermath of their ill-treatment of Arthur through solo scenes only and not one scene of these characters perhaps portraying that they are bad or abusive. So the result was we invested emotionally with Arthur by just watching him being affected but not really living or feeling what is affecting him and why.
Third, the clich approach to Arthur's delusion as far as script and directorial work and the nods to Batman in the third act and its conclusion did not feel coherent with the serious tone of the movie.
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