“Joker” Movie Review

Hands down, the film “Joker” is the most uncomfortable masterpiece since The Shining.” “Jokeris a cinematic miracle, and I don’t think there is a better way to describe this movie. It’s a miracle it was made and an even bigger miracle that it didn’t turn out to be horrible. I didn’t think Todd Phillips, the guy who directed “The Hangover” trilogy, would go on to make a movie this amazing. I didn’t think Joaquin Phoenix would do as good of a job as Heath Ledger in terms of portraying the Joker. I didn’t think this movie would top 90 percent of all superhero movies ever made. But it did.

And I think that’s why this movie is so good; it subverted expectations and created a film so different from the general movie making formula, that it transformed expectations for the better. 

Joker takes place in the 1980s and centers around Arthur Fleck, a man with a mental illness that causes him to laugh uncontrollably. This illness causes everyone in Gotham to find him weird, and people ridicule and beat him up even though he did nothing to deserve it. What Arthur does in his normal life is shunned, while his actions as a clown gain traction from the lower class of Gotham.

The tone in this movie and how its handled is pure perfection. Something like Arthur just laughing at a joke is equal parts funny and terrifying. Additionally, no shot in this movie is boring, each scene and setting is colorful, expressive, and just gorgeous even though the city is made to be run down and very grimy. Ultimately, Lawrence Sheer, the cinematographer, deserves to be praised for his work.

Hildur Guonadottir’s score, while not the most loud and dominant, is great, and the same with the soundtrack in general. One interesting note that I made was that the score only comes in when Arthur draws closer and closer to his inner demons; it never comes in when its Arthur just living his normal life, which is exceptionally clever. 

Joaquin Phoenix cannot be praised enough for how mind blowing his performance was as the Joker; he conveys insanity, depression, and attempts for happiness all at the same time. In addition, Robert De Niro’s role in this movie and the way he undergoes it is sublime. All of the actors in this movie are outrageously talented, and that’s very rare in movies nowadays.

The twist in this movie was so well hidden, and honestly had it not been spread through large publishers like IGN, it may not have been found for years.

The overall themes and messages of this movie are written and thought through so beautifully. This movie epitomizes “humanity.” We see Arthur live a life that’s reminiscent of Tobey Maguire’s living situation in Spider-Man 2. However, we see the supposed protagonist and “hero,” give up any good he has left, and turn completely evil. However, the expertise of the filmmakers turn this into the high point.

And that’s what is so interesting about this movie: the high point is that Arthur reaches his climax in life by giving up in the good and turning to anarchy and insanity.

Its amazing storytelling–that’s simply what it is. It manages to make Arthur look human: like any of us. That’s why it’s so compelling.

“Joker” is a miracle in cinema, and it gets a 10 out of 10 for its innovative and revolutionary changes in how we watch movies and understand them. I would highly recommend this film.