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More - Others - October 24, 2019

The daring and Dreadful masterpiece of the era – Joker movie review

Knock Knock, who’s there? Here’s come the Joaquin Phoenix who spellbound you in every way with his performance. Hands down one f the most compelling beautiful & intricately crafted movie!! Taste is an interesting thing and, as the lead protagonist – clown character Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix, attests to in the latest Todd Phillips feature film effort: “comedy is subjective”.

They say the Phoenix rises from its own ashes–Joaquin does just that –what a flight he takes!! He evokes pathos in the most terrifying way! It is a spellbinding performance that will  remain marked in gold in movie history. The joker laugh, his walk, his dance, his antics, & then his eyes–all make you wonder why an incredible actor like him keeps such low profile. He lets his work speaks & how!!”

It is very unworldly to compare Heath Ledger and Joaquin’s portrayal of Arthur Fleck. Joaquin’s and Heath Ledger’s subsequent metamorphosis into the Joker! Both supremely captivating acts.

I have read various reviews about the movie – the UK based newspaper, The Guardian, kind of stated it was reported in another article that large numbers of cinemagoers, in Huntington beach, California USA had left the cinema moaning about excessive violence; it was said in another article to be the most disappointing movie of the year.

Foremost of all, this is a film – an artistic effort and it is not to be judged on any other basis. If it moves you – as a cinemagoer – then director Todd Phillips has succeeded in his job. 

The story goes with Arthur Fleck is a failed clown and wannabe stand-up comedian who lives with his mother in a ratty apartment in downtown Gotham City (a fictitious DC Comics city based in the state of New Jersey, USA).  Essentially clown Arthur Fleck wants is to be famous, and he will do anything to achieve his aim.  Whether or not any of the action plays out in the real world, or in his mind as a psychiatric patient, is irrelevant for what the film speaks to in my mind – which are the themes of: mental illness, unchecked ambition, celebrity culture and self-delusion. 

These are important subjects which I feel ought to be discussed and addressed in modern society in the era of social media.

Arthur’s world is a very gritty and cruel one, one where working on the streets of Gotham City as a clown where during his job, trying to draw customers to a retail store, he gets beaten up by horrible teenagers in an alleyway and, where most tragically, he finds out his mother is not his biological mother, and in reality he was not conceived on the right side of the sheets during an illicit tryst between his apparent real mother and super powerful Gotham City resident Thomas Wayne character, and that all he really is, is a dirt poor abused orphan.

That is quite a realisation for any person, and especially for mentally disturbed and failed clown Arthur Fleck, which events become the final crystallising moments in Arthur’s homicidal serial killing revenge spree.

What the film also spoke to, is the world of comedy and mass entertainment, which is the biggest farce of all. That making fun of sad people is unfair; yet at the same time, it makes for the very best comedy of self-deprecation when the comic does it himself, and that tragedy and comedy straddle the very same line.

I enjoyed the thread that connected the DC Comics Batman Bruce Wayne’s story and Arthur Fleck’s Joker character, whose genesis in the movie came into being right after he assassinated the famous TV comedy talk-show host character Murray Franklin, played by Robert de Niro, whom Arthur Fleck had idolised.

There are some black comedy genius moments – Arthur’s gun falling out of his clown outfit at a children’s hospital gig, and also where his colleague, dwarf clown Gary, is simply too short to reach the apartment’s front door’s safety chain to escape with his life intact, right after Arthur has brutally murdered other clown colleague, Randall.   

My final analysis is – go see the movie, think for yourself, and don’t believe the hype. The violence is not unnecessary, and it has that “1,000 Ways to Die” feel to it, where social Darwinism says: “those who deserve to die, die”.

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