Joker Review

October 04, 2019



What happens when you push a man too far? You get what you deserve. When the Joker movie was announced I was fairly certain that it was going to be a waste of time, and that belief intensified when Todd Phillips was attached to the project, despite Joaquin Phoenix’s involvement too. However, my opinion quickly changed when the first trailer dropped, and what a memorable moment it was. I couldn’t believe that Tod Phillips really had it in him, but he did. Phillips delivered what I consider to be one of the greatest criticism on society in an art form, and the fact that there is so much push back against this movie proves me right.


Before I talk about Joaquin Phoenix I’m going to try and be honest first. I don’t think I can string up a sentenced well-structured enough to explain how epic his performance was. I felt every pain he went through, I teared up when he did and almost laughed with him at the injustice he went through. The amount of dedication it took Phoenix to reach the physical and mental state of this character is something I can’t comprehend. I didn’t even care about other people’s performance during this movie, and it certainly wasn’t just Phoenix’s screen time that caused him to outshine everyone else. I find it very rare, even with a character study film, for an actor to outshine the plot but Phoenix captivated me so thoroughly that I found myself willing to spend hours just watching him descend lower and lower into darkness on the beat of Rock 'N' Roll. Which brings me to my next point, Hildur Guðnadóttir’s formidable score. I am not exaggeration whats so ever when I say that I still have goosebumps from the bathroom dance scene soundtrack. Even right now I am writing this review while listening to it on Youtube. Guðnadóttir’s work on Joker was just as phenomenal as her work on Chernobyl, and that’s the highest compliment I can think of. Lawrence Sher’s beautifully enthralling cinematography was not a surprise since I loved his work on Godzilla. I loved how even though it is rare for a comic book movie to look so gloomy  Sher made it look so befitting.


Joker is about a broken man living in an unforgiving society that refuses to take the blame for the monster that he has become. Despite the graphic violence that takes place the scariest aspect of this film is how real and accurate it is. The film is set in the 80s in a fictional city yet a lot of what was happening feels very true to our current time and place. From child abuse stories that we read almost daily on the headlines to society’s unfair treatment of mentally ill people, the parallelisms are nothing short of dead-on and melancholic. I can’t find a reason why someone would leave the theater thinking that any of Joker’s actions are right or deserved, and if people did then they are the ones being criticized in this work of art. 

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