Joker Movie Review: Joaquin Phoenix is ​​captivated by a misguided Origin story

Joker Robert de Niro Joker

One of the reasons why the joker in Christopher Nolan's 2008 masterpiece The Dark Knight was such an exciting phenomenon was that the film decided to make it a mystery. It made him all the more terrible since you didn't know why the DC villain was doing something, and he deliberately contradicted himself every time he looked at his thought process. Ultimately, we are told almost nothing about his background. In other words, The Dark Knight & # 39; s Joker had no origin story. The comics have largely avoided fully sketching his past, although the most common elements were that he fell into a vat of chemicals and went mad from the resulting disfigurement. Enter the new setting for the character in joker,

With director Todd Phillips (The Hangover Trilogy) at the helm, who is working on a script he wrote with Scott Silver (The Fighter, 8 Mile), joker is anything but original. His basic premise – that of a failed comedian who inadvertently turns to a criminal life – is borrowed from Alan Moore's 1988 graphic novel "Batman: The Killing Joke". In addition, the film plays an important role in the works of Martin Scorsese – who was once a producer but left the Irishman due to the workload – especially in the 1976 psychological thriller Taxi Driver and the 1983 satirical black comedy The King der Comedy that both played by Robert De Niro. (De Niro is in joker also, and his role is a reverse homage to the latter.)

For this reason, Phillips also decided to bet joker It's the same time as 1981 in Gotham City that every Batman fan knows is basically New York. Thanks to its backdrop, the film can then deal with New York's civil, criminal and social problems from this period, which run essentially parallel to the atmosphere of Taxi Driver. joker Mixes this with the character's desire to live the life of a talk show host and comedian from The King of Comedy. (De Niro was playing a lunatic back then, and he's now playing the presenter.) And just like both Scorsese films, joker Also followed is a lonely person who is fighting a mental illness and is slowly going insane. This person is a failed comic called Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix).

At the beginning of the film, Arthur is employed as a clown – a deliberate premonition – who works as a character vibrator. One day he is picked up by a group of children who continue to destroy and beat the shield. But Arthur's boss doesn't buy his story and finally warns him, even though he was the victim in this scenario. It doesn't look better personally. There is nobody in his life other than his mother Penny (Frances Conroy), who he cares about diligently. Together they always watch the nightly talk show by Murray Franklin (De Niro), of which Arthur vividly dreams of being a part. Arthur also suffers from a disease that causes uncontrollable laughing fits that don't make him sympathetic, even though he's carrying a laminated card that says just that.

This happens against the backdrop of a Gotham City, in which the gap between belongings widened day by day. Messaging is common everywhere jokerThe city has problems with everything from "super rats" to financing their social services. It doesn't help that Gotham's next candidate for mayor is an extremely rich man in Thomas Wayne (Brett Cullen) – father of a young Bruce who grew up as Batman and Joker's archenemy in the comics – who has some fine words for The City is Poor. Wayne's demeanor makes him a slight villain jokerBoth publicly and privately, with the film changing its past and personality to give Arthur more reason to hate him. (This also helps to find a fascinating twist in one of the most iconic comic book moments.)

Phillips used the word "bonkers" to describe it before it was released at film festivals joker, In fact, it's straightforward when it comes to filmmaking. To tell the story of a person who feels neglected and isolated from society, joker essentially brings him through the wringer. Arthur starts in a bad place and from then on it gets worse as he loses all of his support systems: mentally, professionally and personally. joker literally isolates him on the screen, with the many supporting roles – including De Niro, Conroy, Cullen, his clown buddies and Zazie Beetz as his love interest – largely amounting to extended cameos. So if Arthur snaps in a little more than halfway, it's very easy to identify with him, even though you know what the Joker stands for.

Joker Robert de Niro Joker

Robert De Niro as Murray Franklin in Joker
Photo credit: Niko Tavernise / Warner Bros.

joker The most exciting, hair-raising, and disturbing thing is when Arthur completes his transformation into the title character, with each scene after that being somehow more scary than the following. His actions help overcome the anti-rich feeling in Gotham, and it's terrifying to see how an individual's pain and anger can be brought together by a system to his advantage. But it is here too joker wades into troubled waters. Not only does it say that mental illness can be a source of evil, there is also a select group of fuel for how you see the world. To make Arthur a kind of hero joker can be seen as justification for their thoughts and possible actions. It is a dangerous idea to peddle in an environment where everyone believes that they are "just" without judging it.

Phoenix has something to stick to. The 44-year-old, who has deliberately avoided commercial cinema since the turn of the century, gives joker every ounce of what it has to offer lost 24 kg of weight for the roll. His (unintentional) laugh starts with a lot of nervousness and sadness and then slowly turns into something completely different. In the end Arthur doesn't laugh that much, but you can tell he's smiling to himself. Phoenix is ​​as fascinating as Heath Ledger over a decade ago – so there are already calls to give him the Oscar – if for different reasons. If Ledger was scary, Phoenix is ​​creepy. The latter also benefits from the fact that he can work with a character thanks to the transformation.

For those who normally limit themselves to the superhero genre, joker will undoubtedly be a breath of fresh air. And although it is not part of the DC film universe wonder woman and AquamanIt leaves room for a future with more from Bruce Wayne. Phillips said he doesn't see Robert Pattinson's Batman crossing, but that doesn't mean he can't create his own world, depending on how it works commercially. But as a story of origin – Arthur is a product of a broken mother, a broken home and a broken city – he cannot meaningfully deal with what he is presenting. And as an independent ~ superhero ~ movie, joker drinks too much of Scorsese's can, presenting a deeply cynical but ultimately empty point of view. It is provocative, but unfortunately also irresponsible when dealing with this material.

joker is now in theaters across India.