The biggest disappointment of the year has come. It appears with bizarre personal importance to adults during the festival’s award-winning tulip fever as a luxury twist on an established pop culture brand. Last year we had a solemn version of Suspiria, Luca Guadagnino, and now this is the Joker from director and co-author Todd Phillips: a new legend for the famous Batman supervisor.
Joaquin Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a pathetic and lonely loser in Gotham City, in the early 1980s. Arthur is a former inmate in a psychiatric unit, but is now allowed to live with his elderly mother, Penny (Frances Conroy), in your clogged apartment. Poor Arthur has a neurological condition, which means he can burst out laughing at the wrong time. He has a jolt with his neighboring single mom, Sophie (Zazie Beetz), and to be a comedian, invited by the heroes, the cheesy television show Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). But you can only take a job as a clown with shaky makeup and slanted shoes with a banner ad outside a store, where young thieves passing by annoy and hit. Once, after the humiliation and despair become too heavy, Arthur raises his weapon and discovers that his talent is not for comedy, but for violence.
Phillips has already made a film with a bright, unpleasant and funny figure, with learning difficulties: Alan in The Hangover, played by Zach Halifianakis, this strange incapable figure who mispronounces the name “delay”. I wonder what the Joker and Halifianakis look like at the helm. Well, the Phoenix cast clearly shows how sexy the Joker should be.
There is a scene in the film, in which Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is in a declining elevator with his neighbor Sophie (Zazie Beetz) and their daughter. The lights blink and the elevator almost stops. In irritation, Sophie mentions that the building is beyond repair. It makes the icon go to his head to show how desperate the situation is. Arthur smiles.
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The elevator starts working again and they reach the required floor. Before reaching his door, Arthur turns his head. Fit. He smiles sympathetically.
This scene has nothing left. But it is uncomfortable. It makes you creepy and you don’t know why. But aside from the creepy mindset, it’s a dark indication of the events that will follow in the film.
The Joker, directed by Todd Phillips, is the story of one of DC’s most troublesome and iconic villains. Over the decades, the character has received numerous flowers, and each actor has brought something new to the villain. I saw the playful play of César Romero, Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989) and no one can forget Heath Ledger’s dark and sadistic portrait of the Joker. Ledger’s characterization of Joker in Dark Knight set a milestone that no one thought he could reach. After forgetting Jared Leto’s performance in Suicide Squad, Phoenix brings the Joker to life in a terrifying, haunting, and haunting performance.
It’s the 80s. There is an ongoing class war in Gotham. The privileged, like Thomas Wayne, make great statements about poverty, while those pushed to the fringes of society like Arthur Fleck and his sick mother, Penny, remain invisible. Arthur tries to earn a living as a clown, but is ridiculed and beaten. In short, it is in the hands of a system that cannot, or rather refuses to see it. And slowly, the slim mask of health that he strives to keep in front of the world, slides into the film. A family secret accelerates his descent into madness. The lines between the real and the hallucinations become blurred. It leads to a strong climax, with an ending that rivals a black satirical comedy.
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Philips received strong reactions because it made a movie about incitement to violence in 2019, a year in which there were more than 300 mass shootings in the US. USA It was said to be the typical white story of a lone wolf resorting to mass murder because he was amazed by society. When asked about incitement to violence, Phoenix himself left an interview, as he later said he “didn’t think about it.”
But is the answer so black and white? The joker, while trying to humanize the antagonist at first, does not glorify him. The current of empathy and sympathy dissolves throughout the film and there is a sense of fear towards the monster that Arthur strays into. The film also seems like a strange warning about the dangers of unwritten mental illness and the effects it can have on an individual’s moral, physical, and emotional makeup.
The Joker is an individual show with extensive cameos by Robert De Niro and Zazie Beetz. Phoenix is hypnotic and surprising with his performances, which definitely deserve an Oscar. His eyes chase you. Show your fight with your inner demons. Often you can’t find an actor who can make you goose with every move you consider happy, like dancing or just laughing. Phoenix shoots some demonic dances moving on a ladder; the same staircase that she had once walked miserably alone.
Their laughs, like Joker, are anything but fun and there are a variety of them. There is the cache with a high hole, and the hoarse squat that hides the sighs. His laugh has no joy in him. It just shows how dead it is inside.
The movie has a lot of flaws, of course, and there are some mandatory scenes in the movie. Thomas Wayne’s speech on poverty; Another in which Arthur meets a young Bruce Wayne, who might mistake the chronicles for a few, is one of the Joker’s troubled parts. The rich and the elite do not have grays in their personalities, since some dialogues become repetitive.
The Joker is a deeply disturbing social comment on a devastating class fracture, as well as a warning sign of mental illness. It’s not for everyone. But it will definitely bring a lot of conversations.
There is an excellent production design by Mark Friedberg, some photos from the landscapes of the Lawrence Sher cinema and a great performance from Phoenix, although not the best, it is not as good as his appearance in The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson . The film draws attention to the terrible bloodbath of revenge on the subway at first, perhaps with the intention of responding to Bernhard Goetz’s famous 1984 film, although Phillips wisely turns it into a non-racist attack. After that, the film loses interest, with tiring and forced material on the Joker’s alleged trigger for an anti-capitalist and anti-wealth movement with clown-clad protesters. Joker’s criminal and serial killer career fails at all.
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The film refers to films from the era of dramas, such as Death Wish, The French Connection and maybe even Star Wars, but more obviously a laborious and useless homage to the Scorsese / De Niro classic The King of Comedy with a Little Taxi Driver, which means that at different times, it’s a bit like King of the Comedy and Taxi Driver, but not as good.
The connection is marked by De Niro’s cast itself, but it’s useless and pedantic nonetheless, especially compared to Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here, playing Phoenix as the only one living with her mother, who got a better connection. skillful.
The whole idea of the bad clown should be very relevant. We live in an age of trolling, incels and internet bullying. (The creepy Milo Yiannopoulos described himself as a “supervillain” in his now-canceled Twitter bio.) There’s nothing wrong with that, and everything is fine with getting involved, though, and the “knockoff” line is a false lead. But, perhaps because online aggression is difficult to dramatize, Phillips clearly wanted his film to take place in a pre-web era. However, he misleads an almost quasi-anachronistic YouTube moment in his story when, in a way, a video emerges from Arthur’s catastrophic attempt at stand-up comedy. (I wonder if there was no previous project of the contemporary script.)
The genesis of this Joker is decisively mature and unexpected, compared to, for example, Jack Nicholson’s low-level thief, Jack Napier, who falls into a chemical tank in Tim Burton’s Batman, making him the White-Fur Joker, green hair and a smile. (DC Joker’s appearance was originally inspired by Conrad Veidt in the silent 1928 classic, The Man Who Laughs, a man whose face was disfigured in a smile by his father’s political enemies.)
There is no reason why the elaborate Phoenix Joker story is not as powerful as The Joker without reason and without origin. But at some point, you have to enter the world of supervillaindom comics, and Ledger was stronger because he wasn’t overwhelmed by all these realistic details and exaggerated ironic greatness, and he wasn’t forced to run a story. complete by yourself. This Joker has only one act on him: the first act. The film somehow manages to be desperately serious and very superficial.