Joker – 2019


When Joker hit the fan it was an immediate hit. It seemed like everybody just loved it instantly. I was, of course, curious about it but I didn’t jump as high as everyone else seemed to do. I bided my time and had no hurries seeing it. There are so many movies to see anyway (and so little time). But, I finally got around to see it and I was overwhelmed by the performance of Joaquin Phoenix! He’s absolutely brilliant as the Joker!

I don’t think it’s a fantastic movie though. The pace is too slow and I hate the fact that the main character smokes in almost every scene. I realize that this is an emphasis on his state of emotion but I just found it totally annoying. It’s a sure way to underestimate the audience. There are plenty of other things show how he feels. It’s not hard to imagine either. One thing after another goes down the drain for him.

But let’s start from the beginning. Arthur Fleck works as a clown during the day. I think he likes the job very much but things just don’t go his way. He gets jumped and beaten down while on the job and after one thing leads to another he’s finally fired. On top of that, the social department that helps him with his medication is dismantled as a part of a political game. And if that weren’t enough, he finds out that he’s adopted and that his mother is crazy. Oh yes, then his mother gets a stroke and dies.

Who wouldn’t snap under those circumstances? From now on it’s just a downward spiral, even more so than before. He thinks that society makes a difference between people with wealth and other social statutes, especially Thomas Wayne who’s running for mayor. Everything is chaos around him and after a clown kills three bullies from a hight society class wearing a clown outfit it becomes a political statement. People all over Gotham start to wear clown masks and even more chaos is released.

Joker is almost two hours long and it takes a long time for it to develop. Joaquin Phoenix is fabulous and nails the character of The Joker in every aspect but it still gets boring. As a whole I find it to be a good film though. Good but not fantastic. It’s a study of the descent into madness for sure but maybe we needed something more? I don’t know the background story to the Joker in the comic books but this seems to be a very good attempt at telling it. It also places The Joker as 30-40 years older than Batman. That’s based on the look of Joaquin Phoenix but I guess he can appear to be looking older because of living a hard life.

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