Joker (2019)


“[written in notebook] The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” – Arthur Fleck

Number of Times Seen – 1 (17 Oct 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A mediocre clown living in Gotham City is attacked while working which changes his outlook on life in general.

My Take on it – As a fan of all things Batman, I was quite curious to see what this film was all about since it focuses on his arch enemy The Joker.

Fortunately and unfortunately, this film is pretty much only in name and in look related to Batman.

We get snippets of characters from the long running series to be a part of the story in more distant ways, but none of them are focused upon too much.

It gives a very mature look at the way insanity is perceived by both the person suffering from the affliction and those around him which are very diverse ways at viewing things.

Joaquin Phoenix is mesmerizing in the title role and shows how much range he has as an actor with such a role as his character slowly sinks deeper and deeper into insanity.

I won’t be surprised if he is nominated for lots of awards for his performance here and depending on who he is up against, there is a chance he could also win because he tales this character to the extreme.

Suffice it to say, this is not a film that is done to feel “fun” or to feel good in any way.

It is a social commentary story that works on various levels, but never reaches a point where it can be said that things are enjoyable.

It actually is quite haunting that this kind of thing can truly happen because it is told in a very plausible way throughout and makes the character of The Joker feel very realistic in so many ways.

This film is told in a very ambiguous way which is superb because it allows the story to be told in a way that we can believe what we want about this character and his story since his narration is very unreliable which adds so many layers to the story.

It’s possible to believe that the story is real and at the same time it’s possible to believe that it’s all fabricated in the mind of the character and it works both ways quite well.

This is NOT a superhero film at all and is much more of a social commentary on the way that the media sensationalizes things while also using reality TV to ridicule people who may be different.

The fact that this isn’t a superhero film per se is a blessing and curse at the same time because due to our familiarity with the character of The Joker, its easier to relate to the character but at the same time it teases that it could be a film in the superhero genre from a very dark and disturbing perspective.

It also allows for us to see how positions and stances in the media and society can affect people so much in ways that we could never expect.

Bottom Line – Very interesting look at the way insanity is perceived by both the person suffering from it and from those around him. Phoenix gives a mesmerizing performance as the title character as we see how his mind slowly degrades as the story moves along. The movies leaves so much ambiguous which is great because it allows us to try and believe what we want to about this character and the story that he is telling which could be true or entirely fabricated in his mind depending on the viewer’s stance on things. This is NOT a superhero film in any way and that is both a blessing and a curse here because it teases one yet also gives us a very dark and disturbing look at how society and its position on things can affect someone in so many ways. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Joaquin Phoenix revealed his favorite part of filming, was sassing off Robert De Niro’s character Murray Franklin, he stated: “It was one of my favorites, saying ‘Murr-AY.’ … Todd loved that too. And when I did that I thought: Is De Niro just going to throw an ash tray at me?” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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