It would not be wrong to claim that this is going to be the most widely discussed film this year. And as we are already seeing, not all the discussion is happening in the right spirit. I feel that there is no point in reviewing Joker. We have heard about the dark tone, the incredible acting etc. What I would like to do is look at this film from hopefully a different perspective.
Joker is unlike any comic book film I’ve ever seen. This is more of a psychological drama than anything else. I’m curious to know how this film will be received if we didn’t have the beloved supervillain in it. Todd Phillips and Scott Silver have created a monster that’s actually created by us (society). This is a man who is pushed from all sides and decides that he can’t take it any longer. Put this story in any other context and you and I will not be celebrating what the Joker unleashes. I kept wondering why do we like the Joker. Is it because of the actors associated with him or is it something to do with our inner selves? Perhaps there is a Joker hidden in us somewhere. This is what thrills and terrifies us in equal measure.
As for the film, this is one that goes beyond the Marvel/DC war. As a standalone film, it works as a remarkable showcase for what comic book films can be like. There is not much that can be added about Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. He lives and breathes the torment that this man is put through. He is especially amazing in the scenes were he wants to burst open but just can’t. He’s like a bottle of champagne that is waiting to pop. Eventually it just bursts open.
But the acting prowess of this man will be no surprise to you if you have seen The Master which still remains his best performance I feel. It might feel like the writers didn’t feel the need to give importance to the supporting cast. It is indicative of the way that no one is really there to support this man. Halfway through writing this I was thinking about the box office prospects of Joker and while I expect it to be a blockbuster, I’m not sure how big a success it’ll be. The discourse surrounding this film is going to engulf our timelines and I for one am intrigued to see how it plays out. Is this a film that is divisive? Yes. Is this a film worth seeing? Absolutely. Will it be a fun experience? Art is subjective so, to each their own. Hope this made some sense at least.
Until next time, bye.