The last movies of Todd Philipps (director and writer of the trilogy Hangover and War Dogs) with Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/ Joker, is really a masterpiece. This is not a review but only some of my toughts during the vision of this movie.
As we all know Joker try to explain and tell the birth of one of the best villain in comics: The Joker from the Batman Universe. Despite a general belief, this is the first movie completely based on the character, the other films from Suicide Squad to the Batman saga saw the Joker as a sidekick never as the main character of the story. It’s also the first movie where the bird of the Joker is told. In past movies and in he comics this story was never told. For example, in the Nolan saga the Joker every time tells a different story about the scars on his face.
The movie is set in 1981 in Gotham City, Arthur Fleck lived in the suburb of the city with his mother and works as a clown. In addition he have a neurological disorder that cause him to laugh when he is emotionally involved. He is abandoned by the society, he losses is job and the medication for the disorder. During the night of the firing he met three drunken businessmen that work for the Wayne Enterprises, he is beaten by them until shots to dead two of them in self defense and execute the third. That’s the only time during the first part of the movie where Arthur is happy. After this event he tries stand-up comedy, but ended up with a disaster. His performance was showed and mocked by Murray Franklin (Robert de Niro) during his TV show. But stop with the spoiler for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet.
I think the movie it can be divided in two part. The first part more realistic where Arthur tries to find who he is. The second one more cinecomic like other films we already saw, where Arthur finds out his personality and became the Joker, this particular scene is unrealistic, it would never happen in real world.
Important it’s also the opening scene where Arthur is at work and preparing his clown make up. He faces the mirror and tries to forced himself to laugh but ends up crying. In this scene there is all the film with all the emotions involving Arthur and the viewers.
This is most important thing in the film. We empathize with him. We live with him his struggles, his path to the madness, his murders and at the end we are not able to say “it’s not right”.
This are my tought about Joker, I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I do.