Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix gets the last laugh!
“My life isn’t a tragedy it’s a fucking comedy!” – Arthur Fleck
Love him or hate him, but Joaquin Phoenix is Gotham’s new Clown Prince of Crime!
Todd Phillip’s reimagining of the iconic comic book villain is a disturbing look into human psychology. One that will leave you feeling increasingly unsettled as the story unfolds.
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Set in 1981, the film follows Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill failed stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City.
Other characters who play a significant role in Arthur’s descent into madness are eccentric talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro), Penny Fleck (Frances Conroy) Arthur’s Mother who is both mentally and physically ill and Sophie Dumond (Zazie Beets) Arthur’s love interest.
Joker isn’t your typical action-packed popcorn flick. But a cinematic journey that gives us a chilling insight into the Joker’s origins while still paying homage to the Batman mythology.
A unique take on Joker
While Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was a representation of anarchy and social unrest, Phoenix’s interpretation of the role deals with themes of alienation, depression and personality identity and a character that audiences can sympathize with on a more realistic level.
While we’ve generally come to understand the Joker from the Batman movies as a psychotic, mass-murdering criminal with complete disregard to human life, Phoenix adds another layer of depth to the character, revitalizing the Joker as a symbol of discrimination and a reflection of the daily oppression we struggle within society.
The film itself is a refreshing break from the star-studded CGI superhero movies we’ve generally been accustomed to in recent years and DC has done justice by introducing a story that is entertaining but at the same time pragmatic and grounded.
All things considered, Joker is not for the faint-hearted.
It’s a fascinating character biopic and a gripping tale on a character we’ve all known more or less since childhood. It doesn’t have the jaw-dropping moments of Infinity War or Justice League. But Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar-worthy performance alone enough satisfies your appetite by keeping you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.