By Dekota Ahouse
From the high anticipations to controversies, Joker was easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2019. The movie is directed by Todd Phillips, who is known for directing Starsky and Hutch, and The Hangover Trilogy. The film is based off the iconic DC supervillain. The movie has a variety of messages based on society and its issues.
The film is about a man named Arthur Fleck who has a tragic history of abuse, neglect and mental illness.. His job as a comedian begins to fall apart. Arthur is drove insane on how society treats the mentally ill. This leads to him becoming the clown prince of crime everyone knows today.
The soundtrack was an excellent choice for the film. The setting, which seemed to take place somewhere in the 1970s, gave the film a gritty and dark tone and went where no other live-action Batman-oriented film has gone before. It gives a creepy tone to the actual setting because a lot of events happened throughout the 1970s such as the Vietnam War and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The choice of camera filtering is excellent because it makes the film look disturbing in many ways.
The film is often compared to Christopher Noland’s The Dark Knight. Both films had two grown, mentally ill men in clown makeup ranting about society and how it treats the disenfranchised. Joaquin Phoenix, the star of Joker, is often compared to the late Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. Their goals were to prove to the world that modern society is out of date and anarchy is due. Phoenix’s Joker focuses on him turning from a depressed, socially awkward comedian to a murderous, maniacal clown. Heath Ledger’s Joker focuses on a physically scarred man whose goal is to show the world how cruel society truly is.
Phoenix’s version of the Joker portrays him as a wannabe anti-hero, but everyone is the hero in their own story. The film’s supposed goal was to prove that the minority and the disenfranchised will not be silent to appease the rich and powerful. It somewhat happens in real life society when small groups are rising to speak for the minority whether it be based on race, gender or disability.
Joker is a good film, but not perfect. There are clues and Easter Eggs hidden throughout the film. There is a reference to Heath Ledger’s famous “We live in a society” line from The Dark Knight where Arthur rants about how the minorities are treated. The famous staircase in Joker is the staircase in Bronx, New York. Each clue will keep the viewers guessing until the very end. The ending kept the audience guessing on what was going to happen to Arthur and his Joker persona.
Phoenix’s performance was ferocious and gritty in many ways that the previous actors that played the Joker couldn’t pull off. The movie was dark and twisted in a psychological way. The acting from both Phoenix and Robert DeNiro, who played as a talk show host in the film, was extraordinarily exhilarating.
The film itself was more realistic in ways audiences around the world are too immoral to imagine. The film is like a calling for the minority where the people decided to wake up and act before things get worse for them. The film stands up for the underdog and the disenfranchised because at the end of the day, the minority gets the short end of the stick. The Joker is an okay movie, but it’s not for the faint of heart because it is simply too real.