Signed up the 29/03/2017
Joker, is a 2019 psychological thriller-comic book superhero film I guess, directed by Todd Phillips. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz, Shea Whigham and Bill Camp. The film follows Arthur Fleck a man who just wants to be a stand-up comedian but he’s a clown and, he has some issues that may or may not include a condition that causes hysterical laughter, also he’s not funny at all.
All I can say about Joker is…. It’s an experience alright! The film plays more like the tale of a barely getting by man, who ends up saying “fuck it” rather than an action blockbuster superhero film about one of the greatest comic book supervillains ever. And that is perfectly fine because we’ve been screaming for variation in the superhero movie genre right?
Joaquin Phoenix leads the film with a performance that’s raw, transformative and made me want to date a clown (ha ha ha), but yet it never over powers the film, he carries it with this magnificent charisma and once he’s got you, you begin to cringe but you can’t look away because you’re hooked now. Zazie, Robert and the rest of the cast compliment Joaquin perfectly, whereas Joaquin is playing it big, they play these characters that are very small but yet impactful at all the right places.
Hildur Guðnadóttir delivers a score that is brooding, haunting and absolutely chilling when it needs to be. The cinematography is one the films winning elements, like the score the cinematography is at times bold, and magnetic. While the shaky close ups of Arthur try to unsettle you and they do.
“Gotham’s lost its way. What kind of coward would do something that cold-blooded? Someone who hides behind a mask.”
Gotham City is envisioned as gritty New York-esque place but is it the best version of Gotham? Nope that distinction literally belongs to the “Gotham” TV series, which I’d argue that this film can literally be a prequel to the TV series which as prequel on its own. Either way, a WIN.
The pacing for me in the first act was a bit meh and honestly I was bored but it ambitiously picks up in the second act and gives us a steady film that’s full of suspense, spectacle, and a great climatic finish. The film for me suffers from its ideology that can sometimes be confusing because I found myself rooting for the society and how it’s exposing the ills but then I also found myself going “euw this is a mess” and if they had just paid a little more attention to the ideology the film would have stood above the rest, especially because it’s really a good film (great even in some parts, like the "send in the clowns" train scene with the three douchebags), thats on the right path and when it decides to shock you (the three times that it does) it really shocks you, and those moments linger. And i couldn't help but notice the little horror tropes in certain moments of the film and man i wanted more of those because they induced something within me. I mean I’m actually mad because if they just paid a little more attention Joker would have been commentary about society and how they fail those with mental illness until it’s too late.
If you leave all your expectations at the door about what a superhero film is supposed to be, you’ll be thrilled. The film however in my own personal view needed more blood and shock but I’ll take what I can get. Todd Phillips delivers a film that tries to be fearless, bold, gritty and dark that sometimes fails to be those things but when it does succeed boy it’s a ride that you won’t forget kind of like Arthur Fleck’s hysterical laugh that I strangely found soothing and laughing along with.
A MUST-ish WATCH.
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