Joker Review


Many people will brush Joker aside, thinking that this movie is just another comic book movie. This is a fair assumption, as comic book movies dominate the film industry and many of these films can feel repetitious. Joker, however, takes the comic book movie and shines a completely new light into the genre. Joker, unlike any other comic movie before, is a movie focused on a singular character and how they became a super-villain. Sure, there have been origin stories in comic book movies before, but Joker takes the origin story to a whole new level. Many movies tell and don’t show how villains become the way they are, and if they do show, it’s normally with surface-level story-telling. Joker takes a deep dive into how a super-villain is constructed and does it in an incredibly mature fashion.

The film is a dark character study on how Arthur Fleck became the Joker. It conveys Fleck’s struggles with mental health and everyday life. Arthur Fleck works his day job as a clown, but it goes downhill incredibly fast, especially after he gets jumped by a bunch of delinquents. Arthur Fleck may seem like a light-hearted person from his job, but his personal life contrasts completely from the nature of his work. The movie takes big strides into showing the mind of a mentally unwell person, showing many scenes of him battling his mind at his home or other situations. One huge theme of the movie is fantasy, as Arthur Fleck experiences a lot of fantasies of how he wants his life to be. These fantasies play a significant role in the movie distorting the audience’s ability to differentiate between Fleck’s reality and fantasy. This may seem like lazy writing, but it is quite the contrary, this aspect is utilized effectively to fit the themes and story of the film. There is so much in this film, that it could be talked about for paragraphs, but it is really best to go into Joker as blind as possible. It’s hardly a film that can be easily talked about with words without expecting the audience to have seen the movie.

Joaquin Phoenix delivers an impeccable performance as Arthur Fleck. His physical display, complex emotions, and chilling vocals (especially his laugh) are some of the best ever on the silver screen. Phoenix makes the audience feel uncomfortable in the best way, as his portrayal of a mentally disturbed man is almost too realistic. Although the other actors do a great job as well, Phoenix carries the movie.

The soundtrack of this movie shares the aspects of one usually seen in a horror film. It has drawn-out strings and creepy composition to make the audience feel incredibly unsettled. The editors really know when to use the music as well, as the uncanny music is always placed in the most effective places to elevate the weight of the scenes. This is especially evident towards the end of the movie.

The cinematography of this movie is phenomenal. It uses extreme close up shots to make the audience feel uneasy. The film uses cinematography to show Joaquin’s expressions which tell a whole story of itself. Not only this, but each shot has incredible detail and always seems purposeful.

Overall, Joker is a loaded and incredible movie experience. You will leave the theater thinking about this movie for hours, which ultimately proves the effectiveness of this film. Joker definitely is not a perfect film, but it is one of the most ambitious films of recent memory. The potential issues of Joker can easily be overlooked, especially since many aspects of the film can be interpreted in diverse ways. Many believe Joker uses Martin Scorsese’s films as a crutch too heavily, which is a fair point, but it actually elevates the film more than anything else. The similarities may be explained by Martin Scorsese’s brief involvement with the production; however, the film definitely is its own style. Joker’s ambitious positives definitely overweigh the nitpicked negatives. It truly is a one-of-a-kind film.

Score: 10/10