What is the Joker?
Joker follows the tragic origin story of failed comedian, Arthur Fleck as he descends into madness from isolation and bullying by the city of Gotham. Todd Phillip’s dark, standalone story tells the tale of how a troubled man can be driven to assume the mantle of one of the most iconic villains of all time is art. However, when you think about the Joker, you probably think of a criminal mastermind who’s always one step ahead of Batman. In the comic book universe, that usually makes sense. In this film, Arthur Fleck is real in every sense of the word. This origin story is a different interpretation of the Joker and should be thought of as such. The best tip I can give for those going to see this film is to forget everything you know about the Joker.
The Award Winning Acting
Every single scene that Joaquin Phoenix performed made me feel uneasy. It felt like he was going to snap at any moment. Phoenix’s ability to create that much tension constantly is extremely impactful. What made his acting so incredible to me was when he’d see something happen that would make his day worse, you could see his character mentally breaking. There were scenes where I would laugh but felt weird about laughing because of how dark and gritty it was. I think a lot of it had to do with the acting that Phoenix did. His acting was spectacular throughout and I believe is worthy of an award.
It’s a Coming of Age Tale
The more I think about it, the more I realize this was a true coming of age story. With every moment, he fell into deeper into madness, which led him to assume the role of Joker. Fleck didn’t have much of any direction until the hugely important train scene. It’s almost as if something deep in him awakened and began to grow. By the end, when he dyes his hair green and wears the clown face paint, the viewer realizes that he has now fully assumed his role as the Joker. I loved this dark and gritty telling of a coming of age story!
Was the whole thing just a dream?
One thing I found myself asking throughout the film was “how much of this is real?” I wasn’t sure why I had this thought. I just knew something was off. It was so clear. The concern all started when Arthur met the girl in the elevator. They had an extremely awkward interaction in the elevator. The very next day, Fleck shows an interest in her by creepily following her around. Aware of this, Sophie decides to confront him about her suspicions that he was stalking her. With his head down, Fleck confirms to her that he was and she simply laughs it off. I can’t remember exactly how we got to the point of a romance, but I know she did accept it and the two spent a lot of time together.
It was all so obvious! How did I fall for that interaction thinking it was real?! I feel so silly writing this, but it was my experience. Of course, later in the movie ...
SPOILER ALERT WOO WOO GTFO NOW
it is obviously revealed that Sophie and Arthur’s relationship was just a fantasy in Arthur’s head as he shows up in her apartment and she doesn’t recognize him at all. Some flashbacks are shown as well of scenes we saw before..but this time Sophie isn’t in them.
SPOILER ALERT OVER. YOU CAN KEEP READING NOW.
After this whole huge reveal, I began to think even days after viewing the movie, what the hell was actually real?! A movie that can have that lasting of an impact and create such lively conversation is almost unheard of anymore.
Should you go see this?
Joker does not rely at all on big explosions and crazy CGI that practically make the movie an animated film. Instead it requires on SUPERB acting, INCREDIBLE music, and Creepy tension. It does my heart good when I see Hollywood movies like this create something so real and discomforting to watch. When thinking of how this movie stands up to others, I want to place it on as high a pedestal as films like Memento and Pulp Fiction. To answer the question of the title, yes you should absolutely watch this film! However, it’s completely up to you if you want to watch this in theaters or at home. There are no huge over the top action scenes that create an experience unique to watching in a theater. This is a tragic story that is meant to make you think and feel things. I believe that this film will be talked about and studied for years to come!
- Dark and gritty tale of a failed comedian.
- Coming of Age Story
- Incredible Acting, Music, and Camerawork
- Made me wonder what is real
- Joaquin Phoenix deserves Best Actor Award!
- You should go see this. Doesn’t have to be in theaters, but you need to watch it
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts (and more or less rambling) about this film! I really love talking about things that I love so I’d appreciate any thoughts or feedback. Have a great day!