JOKER REVIEW: (written by JK)
THE BASIC PLOT:
This movie is basically an origin story for Batman’s greatest villain, the Joker. Starting off as a regular man with a laughing condition and a dream, Arthur Fleck attempts to fulfil his dream
of being a comedian. But unfortunately, this is a cruel world which won’t let him live peacefully. This is a story of a man who is gradually broken down by society, and finally decides to bite
Arthur is quite a convincing character, he’s initially quite a well-meaning person that just wants to make people laugh. We see and feel all his struggles, including the trouble his psychological
condition causes. We see the cruelty of the people take its toll, and Arthur starts feeling less sympathetic as he commits more crimes. The scariest thing about this Joker is that he could
potentially exist in reality if someone’s driven far enough. No superpowers, or supernatural anything, just a normal guy with too many bad days.
A lot of the other characters are often in the background of things for a variety of reasons, from failing health, to just not being around much. From Arthur’s co-workers, his love interest, his
frail mother, and a notably…..jackass version of Thomas Wayne, A lot of characters are more like props for our main character’s story….there isn’t really any heroic people in this movie though,
as this is a time before the famed Caped Crusader took flight.
Arthur Fleck is an adult man that looks after his ill mother while trying to pursue his dreams of making people laugh. Unfortunately, he has a psychological condition that causes him to laugh
uncontrollably in random situations, which makes things hard for him. Jumping from gig to gig, he suffers a terrifying amount of abuse. With discoveries of his past, the biases of society, large
changes to his life and the pulling of a trigger, the cruelty of society starts to cause his descent into madness…..
This movie’s plot is quite hard to talk about without spoiling too much…..so sorry about that.
The setting of the movie is a Pre-Batman Gotham. As there’s no hero prowling the streets, pretty much everyone is out for themselves. If you thought Gotham City was bad when Batman was around,
this hellhole makes you wish for him. All sorts of abuse from all sorts of people, it’s easy to see how people lose hope here. Set in the 80s, there is a notable lack of bright colours, and
combined with the lack of superpowers, aliens or anything unrealistic, it really sets the tone that this isn’t a normal Comic Book movie. There are no heroes here to save our protagonist.
The acting is pretty great, special props to Joaquin Phoenix who plays Arthur through all stages of sanity well. His Laughing Condition is also portrayed quite believably.
There was several scenes that notably lacked music to add to the tension, but the music that was in the movie fit the scenes well enough.
It’s a pretty good movie. Although there is controversy claiming it is inspiring or glorifying horrific acts, it actually does the opposite. It shows the adverse psychological effects of Arthur’s
actions, and as aforementioned he is portrayed much less sympathetically as the movie goes on and he spirals further down. It’s fairly low on comedy and light-hearted moments, so this isn’t for
people expecting a normal Comic Book movie. Not for the faint of heart, Joker is more for people who enjoy psychological thrillers or character studies.
I recommend this, but if you’re looking for a fun, light-hearted movie, you should probably pass on this.
This review is the opinion of one individual and doesn’t equal fact or the opinions of others, as every opinion is unique.