Release Date: October 3rd, 2019
MPA Rating: R (for strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images)
Runtime: 2 hr 02 min
Directed By: Todd Phillips
Written By: Todd Phillips and Scott Silver
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen
The build up for the new Joker film was one of great anticipation and controversy. Security was increased at premieres of the movie due to its controversial content. Joaquin Phoenix reportedly lost over 50 pounds in a mere three months for his role as the Joker. With this being said, a lot was on the line when Joker finally premiered this past weekend.
In the opening scene, we see Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) painting his face in front of a mirror. He is a professional clown who’s boss finds him clients to work for. At the same time, we hear news casters describing the condition of Gotham. The streets are filled with trash, disease is spreading, and there is a great divide between the rich and the poor.
Arthur lives with his demented mother, and takes care of her as best as he can. He also suffers from a condition that causes him to break out in episodes of hysterical laughter for no reason. As a form of support, he periodically visits a social worker who prescribes his medicine and also counsels him. Additionally, Arthur is an aspiring comedian who attempts to make it into the comedic business.
Throughout the movie, Arthur’s problems increase which eventually lead to the climax of the film. They begin with a group of teens stealing his sign and beating him up. From here, he’s ridiculed by others, rejected, and eventually fired from his job. After being beaten again, he murders his assailants which sets off a chain reaction in the city. Arthur decides he has had enough of his life, and fights back, which results in him becoming the Joker.
You’ll just have to watch the movie to learn what happens next.
Joker is by far one of the best films of the year for me. If you’re going to watch this film expecting another superhero movie, you will be severely disappointed. Yet, if you want to watch amazing performances, a storyline that is relatable to reality, and a look into the life of the mentally ill, then Joker is a must watch.
If there was ever a movie that had triggers for people suffering from past trauma, it is this movie. Throughout the film, we watch a man who already has been dealt a poor hand in life, continue to suffer the abuses of the system that was made to care for him. Added to this, are the onslaught of attacks he must experience from other people. Although, Joker is known as a villain, after we see what he goes through, we may begin to sympathize a bit with his behavior.
DC’s latest movie has seemed to take a new direction. Instead of the continuous hero vs villain plots of other movies, Joker takes us inside the mind and the life of a person with real-life problems and actions. It’s a direction that I hope DC continues to follow in the future. If you’re searching for the common plot of good vs evil in superhero movies, then go watch another Marvel movie. Yet, if you want to watch a more realistic and dark movie, then go watch Joker now, but be warned, it may trigger you.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars