Joker Review – Joker is an American psychological thriller released in 2019. The movie is based on the famous DC Villain Joker and traces his origin story.
After the rave reviews, the movie has been receiving, I had finally watched Joker on the IMAX screen. It is a movie that breaks the fourth wall of sorts where it requires the involvement of the audience to interpret and make sense of the proceedings. It leaves you with a lot of emotions about what you have witnessed. It sort of symbolizes the rise of a dystopian society that Gotham had become later as you would have watched in Batman movies.
The movies opening scene paints the picture of the city that it is becoming. Arthur is putting on his clown make up, metaphorically putting on a happy face when the city is gone to the rats as it is conveyed by the newsreaders in the news channel. Rise of rats indicates the rise in the homeless people in the city living in makeshift shelters leading to the rise of rodent menace. The government is trying to control the rodents rather than addressing the source of the problem. There is a joke that gets aired in the Murray Franklin show on TV calling the rodents as super rats and the solution is to fight them with super cats. A sarcastic take on the tryst between Super-Villains and Super-Heroes is brilliantly weaved into the story.
The economic divide in the city has become so huge that the quality of life of the jobless people is in a very pathetic state. Arthur is just a representative of them where he craves an identity by fantasizing himself to be a successful standup comedian. Post the dramatic turn of events ( not revealing them here to avoid spoilers ), the prospective candidate for the Mayor, Thomas Wayne calls them clowns by accidentally giving them an identity that unites them.
The rest of the movie is about how Arthur’s life takes a turn with the turn of the events and what he becomes eventually. The climax is very open-ended letting you reflect and create your own version of the story.
Joaquin Phoenix is literally in every frame of the film and has delivered a very commendable performance. The hysterical laugh convinces you of a man who has a condition of mental illness. Director Todd Philips has given a movie that is much beyond the movie made out of comic. Joker can be an independent movie that has a lot to convey without having the link to the comic.
High Points: Performance of Joaquin Phoenix, the open-ended climax that leaves room for interpretations, the soundtrack from Frank Sinatra classics, the gripping dark screenplay.
Low Points: The film is dark, gritty and bold which may not appeal to the taste of folks who do not like it.
Overall, Joker is here to stay as a cult movie for very long and is arguably one of the best performances of Joaquin Phoenix yet. Joker is not just an origin story of Super-Villain but a movie that paints the side effects of the inequalities in society.