Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Joker: Movie Review

Dark. Intense. Raw. "Joker" is the boldest superhero movie in more than a decade. This is also the most human, scarily relatable, and disturbing Joker we have seen on the big screen. This is an origin story that is both wickedly vile and plausible and one you shouldn't miss.


Forever alone in a crowd, Arthur Fleck seeks connection but finds it hard with his mental illness. By day, Arthur is literally a clown but by night, he takes care of his mother while he aspire to be a successful stand-up comedian. But soon his world tumbles into a whirlwind as he is having a constant barrage of unfortunate events. Bullied by teens on the streets, taunted by suits on the subway, teased by his fellow clowns at work, or simply abandoned by society itself, this social outlier only becomes even more out of sync with everyone around him and soon unleashes his dark inclinations that he has been inhibiting for all these years.
"Joker" won't be the faint of heart that's for sure. It's an origin story that has literally no "good" ending and its one that's a downward spiral into a very heavy darkness. After watching the film, it truly affected us deeply emotionally. At the helm why the film had so much impact was Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Arthur Fleck. Phoenix was front and center throughout the film's two hour run time and he had us hooked for the whole duration of the film. He was able to portray a character that's both relatable and at the same time disturbing. It's quite a bitter pill to swallow but we found ourselves actually rooting for Arthur's eventual rise and evolution into the maniac that is the Joker. Joaquin Phoenix found a way to make his portrayal the best we've seen. It's the most human but also the most depraved if that even makes sense.
Beyond Phoenix's acting, the film's narrative was also one that felt familiar but also different. The writers was able to spin a story that had a lot of surprises and revelations along the way. Most importantly, it just felt grounded. There's really no super powers here or even chemically-induced mutations. It's just a character-driven story about a mentally ill man whom society and family has left behind and pushed to the brink of literal madness. Of note is the stellar camera work and soundtrack. The camera work in particular putting viewers up-close into Arthur Fleck's shoes. Overall, "Joker" is an instant classic and a masterclass on how to make a character-driven story tick. It's one that will disturb you and shock you but one that you shouldn't miss.
Rating: 5 reels




Why you should watch it:
- it was a one-man show and it was an amazing performance from Joaquin Phoenix
- beyond Phoenix's gripping acting, "Joker" had a few surprises up its sleeve

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- truly disturbing and dark, you'll feel a very heavy mood for quite a while

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