Joker (2019) Review
This review may contain spoilers.
In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.
I want to put it out there that I was super hyped for this film. Seeing people say it was a disappointment really confuses me and isn’t something I can understand. I’ve seen people comment just saying ‘society’ like that’s an excuse of why the film is bad and to me, that just isn’t. So, in this review, I will try to justify why I thought Joker was actually brilliant.
The production design of this movie was beautiful and that combined with the cinematography really created a beautiful world of grey-green and blue. This film produced a different kind of grey, not like the MCU colour palette of nearly all their movies kind of grey, but grey that brought everything light in this world close to darkness as the character perceives his world.
I think the script of this movie is perfect and yes maybe lacking some originality but Todd Phillips wrote the thing and clear had ideas in mind of what movies he was using as inspiration and I believe it served the purpose of this movie pretty well. People who criticise the story, however, is because this isn’t a convention screenplay where the hero is active. In Joker he is a passive character and the world kind of happens to him. This is a good thing for this movie. Why? Because this film is more a character study and not your generic origin movie. I think its OK for a character study story to be passive in their story whilst we try and understand what Arthur Fleck is all about. It is only when we see him go from passive to active that the world of the movie nearly stops reacting to him. Why nearly? Because he does start being active, most notably that subway scene which I think is one of the most brutal depictions of shootings I have ever seen on screen. But then he does get pushed back by his mother going to the hospital but then is active in how he resolves his relationship with his mother. This is good storytelling as we are seeing that Arthur Fleck's character, played by Joaquin Phoenix is finally coming through, for good or for worse.
The societal commentary of this movie is evident but it doesn’t drown you in it. But definitely points out that we really need to start looking after the most vulnerable in society and take mental health a lot more serious.
I’ve refrained from talking about Joaquin Phoenix’s performance and left it till last on purpose. I am talking like a guy that hasn’t seen ‘The Master’ because I haven't but I have seen Her. I thought Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Arthur Fleck and as the Joker were phenomenal. I believed both flip sides to his character and think he fully warranted the Oscar that he received.
Overall, I highly rate this film and is one that I put up there as one of my favourite movies.
I rate this movie a 5/5.