“Is It Just Me Or Is It Getting Crazier Out There”

A Review of Joker

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Joker, a movie about Batman’s most infamous villain, is superior to any Batman story ever told. And it doesn’t even include Batman! Set in the early ‘80s, it is before the Waynes even died. The film is a slow-paced, edge-of-your-seat story that dives into Arthur Fleck’s gradual descent into madness and his sudden change into the darkly comedic Joker. 

Just from the first trailer and the premise of this movie my hopes were extremely high. Higher than they’ve been for any other movie, actually. I tried to hide myself from all the news as I did not know anything about the film before I walked into the theater. Then I heard of the quick spark of controversy that surrounded the film and the people who were attempting to get the film to not be shown, and that got me even more excited. 

And I was right to be so. This film is a psychological analysis of the mind of the demented, not a fan-favorite comic book movie. This is a dark film about the mind of a crazed sociopath, and from the very first scene, I could feel it. And I smiled. It put a Joker smile on my face to know from the very first scene that this movie is going to be exactly as unnerving and psychologically accurate as I thought it would be. 

The music, both the soundtrack of oldies was gorgeously chosen and the score by Hildur Guðnadóttir was beautifully crafted. Each was perfect in entering the mindset of Arthur Fleck, with the score providing the dark and painful side of the character, while the soundtrack provides the happiness of Arthur Fleck as he finally accepts his sociopathic self. In the film, he dances to both because they’re both him. He’s dark and hurt and happy and entertained at the same time.

The cinematography, the drawn-out rather than choppy scenes, with unnerving wide shots and emotional close-ups helped to draw in every emotion that was supposed to be felt in the film. Todd Philips, who I didn’t see much art from in The Hangover Trilogy, has shown his extraordinary talent in film making. The shots chilled my bones but made me smile nonetheless.

The acting genius that is Joaquin Phoenix perfected this movie. He was fantastic in “Her” but he even blew that acting credit out of the water. His laugh, which was heard a lot throughout the movie, is insanely unsettling, but that unsettlement could only bring me to smile and even giggle in my seat. I loved it.

I knew this movie, even before I watched it, deserved many Oscars, and it definitely deserved the Golden Lion award it received at the 76th Venice Film Festival. This film is gorgeous, a genius in all credits, and should be given a shot by almost anyone who enjoys films. This is not a comic book movie for those who think so; it’s far beyond that. So give it a try. Also, I’d choose to be nice to everyone now, as you don’t know who will choose to murder you if you step on their toes.