Joker : Movie Review
The said comedian, Arthur Fleck is once again a victim of the failing system. There are early cracks in his façade of normalcy, a man down on his luck fired from various ‘comedy’ jobs, having to take care of his ailing mother in a run-down apartment. A man shunned and forgotten by the very society that he is trying to make happy and smile, there are multiple occasions when Arthur is physically and mentally humiliated by a bunch of adolescents. He lies there and takes every kick, still cracking a smile through the pain. And then you see the cracks, through the running paint on his face make-up. You know, this person is going to implode under that immense stress and yet the violence when it comes, is shocking and deeply unsettling.
Joaquin Phoenix has poured his whole heart, body and soul into this role. You see the efforts in the striking physicality; the gaunt ribs, the protruding knobs of his bones in the back. Like this hollowed out physical caricature is a mirror into the seething darkness of his mind. All of that seeping into the black sallowness of his cheeks, giving his expressions a rabid intensity unmatched by anything we have seen on the screen in a while. There’s a manic precision in the way Joaquin breaks into his impromptu dances, smiling through his grief and madness. Previously, Heath Ledger’s version claimed the top spot when it came to recalling Joker but anyone who’s seen Phoenix’s Joker, is going to go nuts about it. It’s a heart-rending, searing performance par excellence. There are others including big names like Robert DeNiro Francis Conroy and Zazie Beetz but they are just side-notes in a compelling drama, hogged center-stage by the crumpling sad comedian act of Joaquin. This is his (Phoenix’s) rise all the way.
This movie is a devastating reimagination of the moral, emotional and physical makeup of one of the most iconic villains of our generation. Despite showing a streak of irresponsible violence, a sure match to ignite world wide debates on gun control and maybe the direct dig on today's apathetic decay rampant in the society, there is no denying that this....is an epic masterful examination of the mental abyss that humanity has dredged through. One of the classics, this.