Joker: Should We Laugh It Off?

Arthur+Fleck+%28Joaquin+Phoenix%29+dancing+irregularly++while+being+in+his+full+Joker+Makeup.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Joker: Should We Laugh It Off?

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) dancing irregularly  while being in his full Joker Makeup.

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) dancing irregularly while being in his full Joker Makeup.

Lawrence Sher--Joker Cinematographer

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) dancing irregularly while being in his full Joker Makeup.

Lawrence Sher--Joker Cinematographer

Lawrence Sher--Joker Cinematographer

Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) dancing irregularly while being in his full Joker Makeup.

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






If you don’t know, the movie “Joker” is a story of Arthur Fleck (Phoenix), a disgraced clown and stand-up comic, who slowly succumbs to the wills of his mental illness, his pushover attitude, and ultimately, his isolation. With him as a caretaker for his aging mother, a non-confrontationist, This all until he does something drastic, which alters his destiny forever. The story gets quite insane: literally.

I admit I had my fair share of high expectations for this. Watching the trailer, hearing bits and pieces from different online reviews and looking at interviews with the lead, Joaquin Phoenix, gave me some hints that this would be something to look forward to. Before even watching the movie, I looked it up on IMDB for the ratings to affirm my pre-show hype. Though, this hope didn’t hold up to what I saw in theaters. In fact, I saw what I think to be a cinematic masterpiece that defied even my best expectations.

Joker’s plot reminded me of the story-line of Martin Scorsese’s 1979 film, “Taxi Driver”. The comparisons I draw are mainly how about how two men, Travis Bickle and Arthur Fleck, deal with extreme isolation and loneliness, but also how they are beaten down to their core and act out. I don’t believe this comparison was unnoticed by Joker’s Director, Todd Phillips, who cast Robert DeNiro as one of the lead characters, who also plays Travis Bickle in Scorsese’s film. Speaking of which, casting for this movie couldn’t have been better. When I say this, not only am I talking about the previously mentioned DeNiro, but as well as Phoenix’s portrayal of the iconic title character. Phoenix’s deep dive and dedication to the role really is what takes the cake. Going above and beyond, he is cited to have lost a large amount of body mass in a short amount of time in order to move in special ways that aren’t really possible. He went on a version of method acting as well, in which he went so deep that he even spent three days learning just how to run in clown shoes and how to spin a sign for just the opening scene.

Joker’s writing also has me in awe, which is surprising. I’m still caught off guard because when you generally watch a movie that is focused around a singular character, especially one covered so intensely, it would be expected to get really bored for an hour and a half. In contrast, this movie intrigues me because it always continues to advance and get deeper into the story and turns up your expectations. One example of this is the way that Arthur’s mental illness blurs reality and fantasy inside of his head. I also like how the director tried to push Arthur as a somewhat relatable character.

This is one of the rare movies that I think is exceptional across the board. From writing to directing to acting, I see slam dunks. However, I do have to say that this movie is extremely intense. Granted, it’s another thing I love about the movie, but it’s a double-edged sword. I love this aspect of the movie because art (to a degree) is supposed to sometimes make you uncomfortable. On the other side, people can have a largely different perspective on it and be affected beyond uncomfortable. So I would advise that when you watch it, bring a friend and have a discussion afterward about what you both saw.

Factoring all of these in, I give this movie a solid 9.5/10. Recommend it whole hardily.