Last night, October 16, I had the pleasure of seeing the movie JOKER. Right off the bat, I have to say Joaquin Phoenix was PHENOMENAL in the movie! He plays Arthur Fleck, aka the Joker. The film delves deep into how Arthur becomes the iconic movie villain from the Batman franchise we all know and love to hate.
Having said that, apart from name association, Joker has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Batman…at all. Joker is a stand-alone film and I hope it stays that way. For the sake of how awesomely kick-ass the movie is, I hope to Christ this movie NEVER gets a sequel or follow-up film. It’s great as a one-off film.
As I said, Joaquin Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck, a wannabe stand-up comic with an unnamed mental condition. Joaquin plays the role of Arthur flawlessly! Arthur is a deranged, insane, semi-sympathetic “villain”. Honestly, I do not know of anyone who could have done a better job than Joaquin Phoenix.
You might have noticed I put the word “villain” in quotation marks. Why, you ask? Well it’s because of how Joaquin’s Joker plays out. In the movie, Arthur is given a backstory, and it is really well fleshed-out. In other movies with the Joker, notably The Dark Knight where Heath Ledger plays Joker, he is just seen as a maniacal domestic terrorist. Here, we see Arthur’s downfall and eventual end result as the Joker.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker character, the way I saw it, is just a misunderstood man with mental issues. Society shuns and, at times, mocks Arthur because they do not get his “disability”. Honestly, I’d be pissed, too if I were in Arthur’s shoes.
Now am I promoting mass murder or not advocating for mentally ill people to be watched? No. Not in any way, shape, or form. If anything, Joker shows how potentially dangerous people with mental disorders can be if ignored or not get the help they need.
Arthur is almost a sympathetic villain. He goes insane because of society’s attitude towards him. The end of the film, while shocking, is almost a good thing for Arthur. I am not going to give the end away here. You’ll have to watch the film for yourselves.
I think the film is actually really sad–even downright depressing at times–, thought-provoking, gritty and just overall really well done. So for Joker’s final score, I am going to give it a 9.5/10. The reason it isn’t getting a perfect 10/10 is simply because of how hard it hits home in today’s society and how relevant it is. That and its very realistic portrayal of how dangerous mental illness can be if ignored. It is a very heartfelt and violent film.
So have you seen Joker? Do you plan on seeing it? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and, to quote the Joker, “Remember: Keep Smiling and Put on A Happy Face!”