We have failed as a society. That’s the hard truth that Joker is trying to tell us. As citizens of the society, we collectively failed to do our parts and in return, created monsters, the monster- Joker. I could go on and on and on with how much brilliance is in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow’s unraveling of the iconic comic villain. Bingers, here is my review of Todd Phillips’ Joker.
A Lens Into Our Society
Gotham is sick. We heard this premise countless times. This has always been the foundation of every Batman movie. The divide between social classes has never been more prominent. The rich bask in lavishness while the poor live off of their spare. The rich enjoys the comfort of their mansions while the poor live in the streets and rummage through trash to survive. This is just the surface of inequality because underneath it are deeper issues that are left ignored such as mental health. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is the perfect poster boy for this inequality. He is poor, illiterate, and suffers from a mental condition.
Physically, one could easily tell that he is at such a low point in his life. His frail body speaks volume and not to mention the rare condition that he has where he laughs uncontrollably and impulsively. One can easily say that he, Arthur Fleck , is the depiction of the poor and the forgotten. Todd Phillip’s Joker is a great study on what we are now as a society. The rich gets richer while the poor gets poorer. The social divide is getting wider. And in return people such as Arthur gets pushed to do the extremes in order to survive.
For once, I forgot that I was watching a comic book movie. While carrying an exactly different tone and vibe from the comic book movies that we were used to, Joker is essentially still a part of the genre with its inspiration coming from The Killing Joke. The identifying factor that made this memorable, however, is the tone and the pure realism of it. There were no caped superheroes, there were no paranormal elements, it’s just pure realism and look into what we are now.
Performance That Is No Joke
When the first trailer for Joker arrived, I knew right there and then that it was going to be one for the books. With Joaquin Phoenix alone, that should have been obvious that the film will be such an experience! And that it did! Joaquin Phoenix carefully crafted and embodied the character. In the beginning, he was this weak and lost man. But as the story progressed, he slowly transformed into this embodiment of a king- the Joker. Phoenix’s performance in the film is such a magnificence that I held my breath while watching him. The nuances screamed volumes and that is simply astounding.
I could rave a lot about the film but here is one simple way to sum it all up: Joker is a modern masterpiece. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance and Todd Phillip’s direction are so ridiculously good, I am at awe!
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro
Binge-level: 5 out of 5 stars