One of the most iconic villains in all of comic book history is none other than the clown prince of crime, the Joker. Although there have been countless versions of the Joker, each one bringing something unique to the table, at their core they have three things: The swagger of a champion, a lack of remorse for murder, and being chaotic. Prior to Joker, Heath Ledger‘s version of Batman’s arch nemesis has been widely accepted as the best version.
And for good reason!
When a new Joker film was announced starring Joaquin Phoenix, a lot of geeks thought so little of the new take of the appearance and the fact there was even a film solely about the Joker.
The film takes place when Bruce Wayne was a boy, the aesthetics for the Joker are changed with a more traditional clown look, the voice was more high pitched, and lacked the confidence we know and love from infamous villain. Even talking with other movie reviewers, our expectations were low and then I actually saw the film. It seemed just too different to be enjoyable.
Holy Batarangs, it was one of the best films I have ever seen in my life. The cinematography, the sound track, the acting, the drama, all of it was so right that it swept me away.
For those unaware, Joker features down on his luck Arthur Fleck who works as a clown to provide for him and his sick mother. He suffers from a disability that causes a majority of his peers to look at him in a disfavorable manner. During this time, Gotham is undergoing a severe poverty and crime problem that gets so bad that funding is cut from a lot of social services, many Arthur relies heavily on.
This helps with unraveling Arthur’s mental well being as his world crashes down around him until he finally takes control of his situation in his own way. The story is heart breaking and feels so realistic in the aspect that there are people who suffer from disabilities who are practically shunned by society and feel so alone which leads them to become frustrated. It can make a man feel guilty for not doing more to help those less fortunate.
Joker captures this terrible place almost too well to the point where you, the viewer, feels that he is justified in his actions when he does fight back (in usually violent ways). Which is sickening because in the real world we, Americans, live under a constant fear of a public shooting. Many onlookers believed this film1 should not have come out at this time because of our current political climate and the content it showcases. Whether it should have or not is not really my place to say however as a work of art, it is fantastic.
What I find most incredible is that there are only a few handful of shots fired in this film and yet every single time it happens, the audience is shocked and stunned. I remember literally shaking in the theater, trying to control my breathing because I had become so worked up. I then realized that this is technically a comic book film where thousands of bullets normally fly across the screen and we don’t bat an eye. Yet somehow in Joker we are trained to fear a small hand gun.
I will say this in all seriousness that joker is very graphic and intense, DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILDREN. Seriously, this film needs to be respected and wait to see it first then decide if you’d like to show this violence to young ones.
I do highly recommend Joker to anyone looking to see a genuinely great drama. I can’t guarantee this clown will make you laugh but she’ll absolutely see an unforgettable show.